tv 2020 U.S. Census CSPAN March 20, 2018 12:11pm-1:28pm EDT
transportation system and networks and quality health care in the state. voices from the states on cspan. and now a conversation on preparations for the 2020 census hosted by georgetown university law center. among the annualist john thompson the former u.s. census bureau director. this is about an hour 15 minutes. why don't we go ahead and get started. hello, everyone and for our guests, welcome to georgetown law. as you know we're here today to learn about the challenges facing conessential 2020. the constitution mandates that the census for the purposes of apportioning representation in the house of representatives.
during the first congress james madison who is the congressman representing virginia recognized that the census allowed for data driven decisions. he encouraged congress to add questions to the census so that congress could debate and decide on facts instead of assertions and conjectures. today, we have a highly esteemed panel to speak about these challenges and some of the consequences of the enume ration. first we have director john h. thompson. he's the executive director of the council of professional associations on federal statistics also known as copas. he has more than 30 years of experience working both statistical and executive positions at the u.s. census bureau including at its top posts. from august 2013 to june 2017 he served as the census bureau
director before serving as director he served the people for 27 years from 1975 through 2002 in various positions at the census bureau including as associate director responsible for all aspects of the 2000 census. in addition to his career, director thompson has held multiple other positions of distinction. he served for five years as president and ceo of norc at the university of chicago. he was a member of the committee on national statistics at the national academy of sciences, as part of his work on the committee he served on two panels related to the 2e7bz census. he participated as a member of the cn stat panel and the design of the 2010 census program of evaluations and experiments and on the panel reviewing the 2010 census. terry ann lowen that will is a nationally recognized expert and consultant on all things census. she served 14 years as a
congress aide including eight years from 1997 through 1994 at staff director of the house census and population committee. since leaving the hill, terry ann has remained engaged in census issues. she served on the 2008 obama transitional president team advising on census and federal statistical activities. she advised a wide range of census stakeholders on policy and operational issues including fill lan tropy, civil rights activists, state and local government and business and industry data users. importantly, she is an alumni of georgetown university law center so let me say welcome back to terry ann. professor gupta is co-director of the center on poverty and equality on georgetown law where he serves as an adjunct professor of law. he's coauthor of counting everyone in the digital age.
the implications of technology used for the count of disadvantaged groups which can be found on the tables outside and online. prior to joining georgetown law, he held positions as a congressional aid and with multiple policy organizations. he served as a professional staff on the house ways and means committee, he held positions with d.c. hunger solutions and the center for american progress. later he became senior policy adviser at the center on budget and policy. he served on the national academy of social insurances board of directors and he is a member of the hhs's poverty employment and self-sufficiency network. finally, professor joshua geltser serves as the executive director for advocate and protection of georgetown law where he is also a visiting professor of law. joshua led a team authoring a letter recently to secretary wilbur ross highlighting
constitutional and statutory issues with the administration's failure to fill top leadership positions at the census bureau. prior to joining georgetown law, joshua served as senior director for counterterrorism at the national security council staff having served previously as council to the assistant attorney general for national security at the u.s. department of justice. joshua also served as law clerk to justice steven bryan of the u.s. supreme court and was editor in chief of yale law journal. thank you very much for participating on the panel today and welcome to georgetown. why don't we go ahead and get started with director john h. thompson if you wouldn't mind leading things off. >> thank you, john. so i would like to do three things, talk about why the census is so important, talk a little bit about what's different with the 2020 census as opposed to previous censuses
and then lay the ground work by saying where we are now and i think my fellow panelist would more than cover details about that. so why the census important? we've already heard it's the basis for reapportioning the congress every ten years. the data from the census are used to represent fair redistricting and every state uses those data. the census results are used to allocate over 600 billion with a "b" dollars in federal funding every year. the private sector replies on census data and the american community survey this making a number of decision ises about where to put the facilities, how to hire, et cetera, et cetera built basically it drives private sector investment and growth. and very importantly, every data
collection activity for the most part that's done in the united states that's based on collecting data from household or population surveys like the american community survey, the national health interview survey, the current population survey which puts out the month to month estimates of unemployment, all those surveys are made very accurate by the controls that are used by the census. it's why they're so accurate. that's why there is a lot of concern about a potential for an undercount in the census, because an undercount in the census or lack of representation of a population group would not just effect the immediate uses like apportionment and redistricting or fund allocation but it would be with us for ten years in the data and that lack of representation would carry through so that's why it's so important to get the 2020 census
right. so what's different about the 2020 census? so to talk about that you have to understand that the basic census process until today was essentially started in the 1970 census which meant you prepared an address list, you mailed out a questionnaire to every household on the address list, the questionnaire's got mail back, neurofibromatosinformatio electronically off those questionnaires and then the most expensive and difficult part of the census took place and that was going out to collect the information from those that did not mail back or self-respond. that operation was paper and pencil and it has been paper and pencil until the census. so for this census, the census bureau's looking at primarily three different innovations to take the inis success. the first is in terms of preparing the address list, they don't have to walk the entire
country any more to update the address list because of the advent of just a plethora of geo spatial tools of materials which would let them in effect walk the entire country but doing it in an office census. where there's any doubt about a complete list the census bureau will go out and look at it in person. the other area that they're using is the internet. they're allowing the response by the internet for the first time. now, they also understand, believe me, that not everyone has access to the internet so they offer response via a paper questionnaire and for the first time they also offer response by telephone. so they understand that but they do hope that a large part of the american population responds by the internet because that will be producing data much more timely. it'll be much less expensive. the final change for the 2020 census deals with how you
collect the information from those individuals that don't self-respond and for this census, the census bureau has found that using mobile technology in conjunction with the smartphone like this but i think they're pretty agnostic to the smartphone they use, will work really, really well for the census. the census is ten questions. they fit on a smartphone very well and when you have mobile technology you can really do a lot of things to effect krifl manage your workforce. somebody's picked up their work, you know if they're in the wrong area, you know if they're filling out the questionnaires too quickly or too slowly. you can do a whole lot of things that really enhances the quality the of the census and makes it easier to supervise and direct in workforce, which gets us away from the pencil and paper operation. let me just say that if you look at some other data and you see
the cost of the census you'll see they're going up exponentially particularly with the 2010 census. the reason for that has been as the population has gotten more complex and are using a paper and pencil method, you're only osolution is you have to throw a lot more people at it, hire a lot more people -- >> as this hearing comes to take close, we'll go live to senate intelligence committee on election security. we join it as it is just getting under way. >> what we said and the vice chairman and i said the same thing. we would go wherever the facts led us. we're now at a point that we have wrapped up one piece of our investigation which deals with election security. it's safe to say that our team has done an unbelievably thorough job. they spoken to nearly all the effected states, they have
interviewed numerous current, former high level officials from the white house, the nse and department of homeland security, the fbi and other intelligence community agency. they've secured and analyzed countless intelligence products, both raw and finished assessments. let me say this with a great deal of confidence, it is clear the russian government was looking for the vulnerabilities in our election system highlighted and some of the key gaps. there's no evidence that any vote was changed. russia attempted to penetrate 21 states, we know they were successful in penetrating at least one voter database. the department of homeland security and the fbi alerted states to the threat, the warnings did not provide enough information or go to the right person in every case.
alerts were actionable. they provided malicious internet protocol ip address to i.t. professionals but no clear reason for states to take this threat more seriously were given. russia was trying to undermine the confidence of our election system. we're here to express concerns but also confidence in our state and local governments. now, i think what's important to understand is that, tomorrow we will have an open hearing specifically on election security and i'll be -- mark and i will be joined by four of our members taking the lead on the recommendations that we will post. i think they maybe in the last five minutes gone out but they will officially be public today. and let me distinguish. we very much support state control of the election process. we think there are ways that the
federal government can support those states but clearly we've got to get some standards in place that assure every state that at the end of the day they can certify their vote totals. so i think what members will share with you today is the recommendations that we will come with, they're not recommendations that you should expect legislatively action from our committee. we have no jurisdiction. it just happens to be part of the -- rules committee and the united states senate and we will work very closely on them sharing all the information that we possibly can so that they can process our recommendations, add to it, delete from it, but also with the agencies that are most appropriate to make sure that they bring the resources and the partnerships to the states and localities and the individuals that are single most important to the election process. let me just draw a few conclusions. we need to be more effective at
deterring our adversaries. the federal government should partner with the states to truly secure their systems. that will also be in possible grant funding. dhs and fbi have made great strides but they must do more. dhs offers a suite of cybersecurity assistance but we've heard that they do not have the resources to fulfill all the requests. we will work with appropriators and authorizers to see if, in fact, we can't fill that gap. we need to take a hard look at the equipment that actually records and reports votes. we need -- we all agree that all votes should have an audible paper trail and in 2016 five states used only electronic machines with no paper trail, nine used at least some of these machines. we realize all of the security cost money and we want to make sure that the federal government
not only says we're a partner that we are a partner and i hope that will be expressed maybe as early as the spinning bill. let me turn to the vice chairman. >> thank you, richard. it's an indication of who's got better eyesight that you can read this and i have to read off of this but let me thank all of the members for being here and the way this committee's performed to date. you'll hear from four members who have worked actively on this issue of election security but i want to point out ads well that senator rubio has some very important legislation with senator van hollen but i think bears consideration as well and i want to acknowledge senator klobuchar who's been active in the piece of legislation we're working on. i think one of the consensus we all came up with was, we were all disappointed that states,
the federal government and the department of homeland security was not more on their game in advance of the 2016 elections. as the chairman's indicated, there were 21 states that were attempted to be intervention in. at least one state that was full hacking that got through the protections and one of the most frustrating things that in the aftermath of this information coming out that it actually took the department of homeland security nearly nine months to notify the top election officials that their states had -- systems had been messed with and i want to again thank the chairman and the whole committee. our hearing last june was an impetus to the department to communicate better with the states and the reason that somehow the top election officials didn't have
appropriate security clearances, i don't believe in a era where we have to communicate more quickly more full somely was an appropriate response. some of the legislation proposed will help deal with that. the truth is, in the ensuing months, i think dhs has picked up its game. but they're still much more to do as the chairman pointed out. there were still 40 states that were operating with election equipment that was more than a decade old and much of that equipment had outdated software that you couldn't even upgrade even if you chose to. 14 states used voting equipment that had no audible paper trail. the aftermath of our hearing i discovered that my state, virginia, did not have -- did
not have a full system with every state having a paper trail. we had to act quickly because we had state elections last year. we had 23 jurisdictions where we had to change out hshz. it took a real scramble but it was appropriate to try to give virginians the confidence that our systems were going to be secure in our state elections last year. the challenge -- the problem at this point is, that in 2016 it was the russians, and we've seen evidence of russian intervention in other election systems around the west. this is a tool now -- the tool kit is available. it is available not only to russians but other potential adversaries as well. the recommendations of this committee and i look forward to joining the colleagues who got legislation and cosponsorship for their efforts is terribly important. tomorrow's hearing is important even with the snow coming. we all ought to be there
because, you know, maintaining the integrity of our voting systems and more importantly the public's faith that their votes will be counted in a fair and accurate way is extraordinarily critical. with that let me turn it over to senator collins who will start to out line these recommendations. >> thank you. let me begin by commending the chairman and the vice chairman for leading a truly bipartisan investigation into interference in our elections. while our investigation is still ongoing, one conclusion is clear, the russians were relentless in attempting to meddle in the 2016 elections and they will continue their efforts to undermine public confidence in western democracies and in the legitimacy of our elections.
the leadership of the intelligence community is unanimous in their assessment that the russians continue to under take sophisticated attacks to exacerbate the divisions in our country. in the 2016 election, the fact is that the russian scanned election related systems of at least 21 states. we may never know the full extent of the russian malicious attacks. to counterthis serious challenge i want to brief discuss what happened in 2016 and the need for better communication and intelligence sharing between the federal government and state governments. there were several problems with the approach taken in 2016 as the chairman and the vice
chairman have outlined. although the fbi sent out a warning to state officials, the alert was not clear in specifying that eventual nerabilities in state election systems were being exploited by a foreign adversary nor did it specify just how serious the threat was. another problem was that state officials were deeply concerned that public warnings might promote the precise impression that they were trying to dispel, that their voting systems were insecure thus helping the russians achieve their goal of undermining public confidence in the election results. yet in france and germany, we have seen the greater public exposure has had beneficial effect. a third major problem was the lack of security clearances for
top state election officials. as of june 2017, nearly eight house intelligence committee -- months after the 2016 election, not a single official had received a security clearance. that is clearly unacceptable. and while dhs recently sponsored a one day classified briefing it received decidedly mixed reviews from state election officials. we must assist states in hardening their defenses against foreign adversaries including passing much needed legislation providing funding and authorizing appropriate security clearances to top election officials. we must also immediately ensure
robust communication and information sharing in both directions between the federal government and state election agencies on cybersecurity threats. we are already in an election year. the need to act now is urgent. >> thank you, senator collins. i want to start as well by saying how proud i am of our entire committee and our leadership of chairman burr and vice chairman warner, how they've taken on this task of getting to the bottom of what happened with russia's influence and interference in 2016. i think we all recognize that our democracy fundamentally hinges on american's ability to fairly and accurately choose their own leaders and until we set up stronger protections of our own election systems and take the necessary steps to prevent future foreign
intervention, our nation's democratic institutions will remain vulnerable to attack. i'd like to echo what senator collins just said about the importance of insuring our state election offices that they are equipped to respond to these threats and to keep our voting system secure. i think all of us are in agreement in the importance of the leadership at the state level with regard to these elections. as we've been working to address election security, one of the things that i found particularly helpful is the consultation that i've had with new mexico's secretary of state. she runs her state elections but she's also been a national leader in securing local voting systems against cyber threats. state election officials like her should have the security clearances and the support federal agencies they need so they can respond to these threats in realtime not months later. the federal government also needs to work to attribute
cyberattacks more quickly and with more confidence. foreign adversaries and bad actors engaged in cyberattacks precisely because they are easy to deny and we cannot allow that deniability to shield those hostile actors from accountability. we have no doubt that russia and other foreign adversaries and malicious actors will continue to target our elections and try to undermine our democracy. we must be able to call them out and we must be able to make it clear that these actions are unaccept being. finally i believe states should believe in implement more widespread statistical sound audits. americans need to be confident that their votes and only their votes are what counts in electing our public leaders. audits and risk limiting audits go a long way to make sure our voting systems are working as they should that our integrity
is protected and risk limiting audits also create public confidence in the vote, the very quality that hostile cyber actors like the russian state seek to undermine. as we approach the midterm elections and the next presidential election cycle, we need to act quickly to pass bipartisan, pragmatic recommendations into law to protect the integrity of the entire voting process. and with that i'll wrap up my comments and turn it over to senator lankford. >> what you'll hear from this group is a commitment to several key facts. one with with of them is there's no questions the russians were trying to meddle and there's no question that states operate their own elections. this is not a federal responsibility but it requires a partnership between the states and the federal government to be able to get as much as information as we possibly can. we've worked on legislation along with some other members that have been mentioned here. klobuchar, graham, others that we worked on to try to put
together some basic recommendations. today, though, and what tomorrow's hearing will focus in on is to try to get as much as of that information out as we possibly can and articulate these issues. last time it was the russians. it may not be the russians next time. they have set a pattern that others can follow. it could be the north koreans, or iranians. so the key thing at this point for us is not just protecting our elections from future russian intrusions it's protecting our election period and to try to work through that process as eventual nerabilitieses have been identified it's reasonable to close them and work with states as they try to be able to determine what misses they have may have so they can have those addressed in the days ahead. >> i want to echo the comments of my colleagues and in particular thank the chairman and vice chairman for conducting this committee and its work in
such a bipartisan way. i think that it's not only about bipartisanship, we all have been working on this issue know that certain issues are nonpartisan and this is one of those. in terms of the recommendations, there are two in particular that i want to focus on. one is outdated equipment. technology is changed the way that the world works and has upended long-standing business models and we always as government need to be aware of the best practices and the best equipment that's available and we have found that many states have outdated equipment. so one of our recommendations is that we figure out how to audit and figure out which states are using what kind of equipment in a way that is helpful to them when they request that help and doing what we can to give them the support and the funding that is necessary for them to update their equipment. what we do know for sure is that we have to provide this kind of support to states, many of whom cannot afford to update their equipment and update it in a way that we can ensure that they have the ability to audit their
elections when necessary and do that through paper trails so that is one of the best practices that we are also talking about. the other is bringing best practices in terms of making sure that voter registration websites and poll workers and all of the other folks who are negotiating the election process are doing it in a way that they have all of the best practices that are available based on the research and the work that we have done. for example, we have talked about the need for a panel of leading experts to establish election cybersecurity guidelines and provide financial assistance to the state's so they can implement these best practices, and i'll just close by saying that, the urgency is clear. the work that this committee has been doing is certainly looking at what happened in the past but it is also about addressing the fact that currently we have an election upon us, states have already started voting and the past tells us that the future
will probably hold another set of threats if we are not prepared to meet those threats. thank you. >> i want to thank my colleagues and i'll call them back to the podium to take some of your questions. let me remind you, this press conference and the report we will put out in the hearing is on election security. i'd ask all of you to limit your questions to election security. we're not prepared to talk about any of the rest of the investigation. once again i'll reitalian rate the fact that we do have a schedule and that schedule's to closeout those areas of the investigation that we feel we have exhausted both the staff and the members' needs. we've identified four of those areas and we should be about one month apart as we launch the next three. that's not concluding the entire investigation, but that's taking a lot off of the deck and
allowing our staff to finish interviews and to finish, more importantly, the investigation but this is one that members have been hands on and that's why they're taking a lead on this. if i can, i'd like to turn the podium back over to these four and let them take some questions. >> they have the tools to strike back against interference in the 2018 election but they have not been specifically asked to do so by president trump. do you have -- what should president trump be doing? what kind of sthoert should he be giving these officials? >> i'll just say, you know, i think there are a number of different committees working on these issues but there is an awareness and bipartisan awareness that we need a more transparent cyber doctrine so that other nation states are on notice and i think i'll just
leave it there. >> senators, you talked about trying to be assisting the states to make -- especially when it comes to the replacement of the equipment. the number we're talking about is around 380 million for the program. it's just not enough to do what these changes are. what do you think the next step is to go and what the figure is that we take to actually do the things you're recommending be done? >> let me just reiterate again. elections are state responsibilities. most of the states in the united states have audible election systems. the concern we have is some states have chosen not to have systems. it's not our desire to fully fund the elections within individual states. that is a state responsibility. if there are incentives we can put in place to spur them, quite frankly it's the people of those state going to their state leaders and saying we want our election to be secure and to be
able to take care of it in their own state. there's not enough funding that we could provide or should provide to every county, every state in america to oversee all of their election equipment. some election equipment is very old but it's still very reliable and very consistent and fully auditable. we've got to find that balance on what cannot be audited and helping incentivize them to get it done but it's ultimately the people of that state that's going to get that done. >> senator lankford, you said it's not about russia. could you -- north korea, it could be activists? do you think the white house gets that sense of urgency? >> it's not about russia. it's not only about russia. clearly russia could do this again. department of homeland security has stepped up significantly in the past year working with states trying to develop security clearances, helping them with critical audits, engaging in whatever way they can to be able to help them be better prepared.
there's a lot of back and forth on it and some perform it is, those states have to be able to say to us as well, when they see interference, they have to be able to say to homeland security and get it out. there's been a lot of that interplay. when robert mueller did the indictments on 13 russian individuals and organizations saying these were individuals that were targeting us, the administration has put sanctions back on those. they do seem to be paying attention to that. >> another question, we're talking about election integrity here. can you comment on the idea that the president today called vladimir putin to congratulate him on winning his election? >> that's off election security. >> you repeatedly stress the urgent need to act here. given the midterm right around the corner today, are these systems any safer now than they were in 2016?
>> we're working on that. we just received an update from dhs and as has been said i do believe that they through the course of at least this last year have increasingly prioritized this as an issue that requires their immediate attention and immediate action. so we have witnessed and we have seen improvements and the resources they're putting this and the thought they're putting into what can be creative work around prevention and also detection. a lot of the work has to be focused on these various pieces and it's not only about deterrence which is apart of what we recommend approximating, that we put in systems that will deter any kind of hacking or infiltration but also detection and detection leads to another issue which is if there have been systems that have been hacked what can we do in terms of resilience so we can detelkt it immediately, share that information if we have it at the federal level with the states so that we can respond as quickly as possible and reduce any or
mitigate any possible damage. and very important part of the work that has happened over the course of the last year has recognized their needs to be greater communication between the intelligence community and the states so that's why you've seen a lot of the focus has also been on what we need to do to clear -- to give clearances to state officials so that they can have access to classified information that will allow them to prioritize what they need to do not only to set up systems to audit but also what they can do around best practices and best machinery. we are talking with them about the fact that this is probably best that you do not have your election system connected to the internet because that will create greater vulnerabilities and look where we are now in this year of our lord, 2018, we're talking about paper ballots but that actually might be one of the smartest systems. going back to, you know, a day when we could have something tangible that we can hold on to because russia cannot hack a
piece of paper like they can a computer system connected to the internet. >> what level of confidence should voters have? >> what's that? >> what level of confidence should voters have today? >> first of all, i think it's important to underscore that we have discovered no evidence that votes were changed in the last election, but it is nevertheless troubling that the russians made such efforts to troeb -- to probe the election systems and they're also in the beginning was such mistrust between the states and dhs that information that should have been shared that would have caused the states to act more aggressively was not shared. i agree that that has improved but i think we still have a long ways to go. i do believe, however, there is
far greater public awareness and awareness among state election officials about the need to be alert to their vulnerabilities to alert to their vulnerabilities to allow for the scams of the equipment and the guidelines that need to be established and a common lexicon established as well so that everybody knows what all parties are talking about. >> i just want to add to that that this is about maintaining the confidence people have in their vote. they should be confident given what we shared about 2016. the point about the thing it is you are hearing repeatedly with regard to a paper trail and audits is being able to match up your physical record with your electronics ones. as long as those things continue to match up, you can have every confident that your vote is accurate. >> i'm going to bring things to
an end. let me say in conclusion. all of you raise add question of what else can happen? if you have intent or kablt, you have a threat. russia is not the only one who have capabilities. and probably, not the only one who has intent. clearly, the russians had intent to cause chaos in the u.s. election system and they have the capabilities to do it and it is all of the above. it is a good defense to work with states to try to implement the ability for the federal government to look inside of the cyber system and see when attacks take place. i would remind you. as conscious as the private sector is of cyber security. there are companies in america, public and private that are penetrated everyday. so i don't know how you can look at the election system and say anything any different other than this is like a company with
one mission. so we're trying to get them focused on how they build around that one thing which is the voting process. last thing and then i'll turn to the advice chairman. you have a hearing tomorrow. rain or shine or snow. now, if you can make it in in the snow, i can assure you we will make it and we'll have a haerg. the here is an opportunity to hear from secretary it is, the technical folks at dhs and experts that talk about what has happened and what we need to do and have done and what we still need to do. and top state officials. i'm not sure there's a platform to present that will give you a clearer picture of whether the assessment is right or recommendation is rate than the hearing we're going to have tomorrow. it will be followed up at some point with the report, first as a declassified overview of our report and depending upon how long it takes for the report to
be declassified, then we would make available for the public our entire report with whatever documentation we can provide. >> two points. i want to the thank the four members that spoke. they have been doing a lot of work. senator king and mansion and other members of the committee, and snaerenator rubio. this has been a all hands on deck effort. tomorrow you will see, it's going to be -- three panels and rarely do we have three panels on a haerg. we're going to try to go soup to nuttin nuts on this effort. and what level of security, i can tell you in my state, even though it was a scramble. to make sure every voting machine in the 2017 elections had that auditable paper trail lent a lot of -- and we didn't
hear a lot of concerns from the past. i do hope of the recommendations will be turned into legislation and we need to act on a sense of urgency. thank you. >> senator -- and as you heard mentioned several times the senator intelligence committee scheduled tomorrow on efforts to improve elections security. and kirstjen nielsen and jay johnson will testify. live coverage, 9:30 a.m. eastern. and we'll go back on preparations for the 2020 census hosted by the georgetown law center. >> not based on the communities they come from. i know the immigration, the addition of an immigration citizenship question has been controversial and this might be
my mind-set now, the deputy director supposed to be the proposed one was supposed to have a controversial beliefs and i'm wondering if there's anything at all to my perception that there miet be more political pressure from this administration to politicize the census to the benefit of republican constituents? >> let me talk about the issue. every census, every census, i believe prisoners have beenen count in prisons. they are usually living and sleeping and that's in the prison. and there are some sound arguments as to why that might not be the right place to count them. so in preparation for this census. the census bureau put their rules, on where to count people
out for comment. they got over 80,000 comments and i think all but four were on the issue of where to count prisoners and i think of those, all of about five were making the argument that prisoners should be counted not at the prisons but where they were pre-incarceration because they had endeering ties to yees those locations and the belief is they were going to return there. that -- that took quite a bit of work at the census bureau. there wasn't a whole lot of information on that. so the census was doing research. at that point i left and the sebs did announce they were going to count them in the prisons and they were not very clear but they did.
and i will turn it over to terri-anne. >> thank you. john set the context there and to drill down a little bit more. there has been advocacy campaigns over the last several decades to try to change the resident's rule for where incarcerated persons are counted. john indicated, there's been a big push to have incarcerated persons counted at their home address. in large part, the interest in that issue grew as the prison-complex, the institutional, you know complex in the united states expanded. so we now have a lot of prisoners from urban areas who are incarcerate in rural communities. so as this whole state prison
complex has grown, generally, new prisons have been built in rural areas. because prisoners are counted there, those communities get the benefit of the bodies literally for a political representation. the allocation of resources and the like. in fact, interestingly, there are four states that have passed, laws to change the census day after the census bureau gives it to them to put the prisoners out of the counts and back in the home community using administrative data for legislative redistricting purposes. there are almost 100,000 public comments on whether the bureau should change the residence rule. the bureau was continuing to do research and then genre signed and so, november 6, 2016
happened and so we are now with the set of final set of residence rules for 2020 that does not change where prisoners are counted. okay. so i know you had a bigger question. i'm not going to -- maybe others want to talk about that. about whether the census is being politicized. let me say one thing. i think this is important for law schools. the consequences of the census are political by definition. the constitution says so. the census shall be used to distribute political representation and through 14th amendment redistricting representation. the conduct of the census needs to be strictly not bipartisan, but nonpartisan. the federal government statistical agency. it is important to keep the
process scientifically sound and nonpartisan. to the extent there may be partisan influences to the number of decisions being made about the questions being asked or the appointment of personnel, i would say this. nobody benefits from a failed census. we are all in this together. there are immigrants in every community and the hard to count population in every state and rural and urban areas. it behooves any administration and the one in place now, because this census will be on their watch. to make sure that the census is done in a sound way and in a way in which it is done that the public has confidence. because the minute the public loses confidence that the system has integrity and objective. the counting system, not the implications or the consequences but the count itself. when public confidence plummets, the census will fail.
>> could i add one thing real quick? that is when i was there, i didn't as director, i didn't receive any kind of issues that would be considered political manipulation. i was there under the obama administration and for a while in the trump administration. the career people at the census bureau and everyone there is career right now, are committed to doing the best census they can. and they will do that for rt money they get and the public cooperation. and i don't think there would be gains for trying to do anything internal to the census bureau to politicize it. there are things that can happen that can make it hard for them to do their job. like terri said, if public cooperation plummets,s to the best of their ability they can't do anything. if they don't get the funding they need, they can only do so
much. there can be things that can be done and affect the outcome of the census. >> maybe tagging it on. that's in some ways why those interested and concerned about the issues, want a greater understanding. that's where transparency have a role. i share all of the sentiments about and not having worked in the census bureau but the sent men that is civil servants will do their job and do it well and the funding and cooperation they get from the government allows them to do. the question is what are the other influences and is there a reason to be concerned? there may or may not be, the best way to figure it out is to get a since of the dynamic. one of the other organizations in the letter i mentioned, a group called protect democracy, receive add response from the request and exchanges about the potential installation about the rumored deputy director to be you mentioned.
and revealed a dynamic about the interplay between the white house and the bureau itself and the broader department of commerce about that. a little hard to read and sort of understand fully. but that's the -- whether it is through foyer or responses to congressional inquiries or hopeful the actual hearings as the date of the actual census approaches, that's where getting understanding can help the civil servants by ensuring that the public gets what is happening and trusts it or whether it can lead to folks like you asking the questions you are asking as a sense of there isn't full insight. >> let me add to that too. i think that maybe sort of asking a different question, but hopefully it helps answer the question you raised. the census clearly matters a lot to this administration for it appears from what we do know other than reasons for trying to
count everyone. and what -- we don't know exactly. it's part of what justin is saying. what we can see from the outside, the deputy department raises concerns that the new head of legislative affairs raises concerns. a formal aide in congress working on the citizen ship the proposal to add a question about concerns. the funding request coming from the administration. coming in typically, under what the census bureau itself made clear. it needs to do what it needs to,you know with an increasingly complex society get to a fair and accurate count. this is what raises concerns. what exactly, you know, the motivation is. it may be mixed may not be one thing. we don't know.
we should be concerned that had get ago fair and accurate count isn't necessarily the highest priority or willing to trade it. that's the political and the white house, says nothing about the census bureau or the career staff. that is what they do and good at. and they are obligated to get to a fair and accurate count. the census starts the day after the last census. it is not something that just start sd. they plan and prepare for t. some of that preparation won't come to the fruition that we hoped for, but you know, i want to share that i think we have a lot of faith in the career staff doing what they can but sometimes their hands are tied. >> director thompson or terri-anne, can you briefly speak to when planning for a census starts since that was brought up. >> i'm going to accept to say it doesn't just start the day after the last one. in the middle of the last one,
the census bureau is embedding experimental questionnaires for 2020. for example, looking at new ways to collect data on race and ethnicity. it is ongoing. >> the planning has started to some degree for the 2030 census. the census bureau asks themselves what are some things we want to test in 2020 to help us prepare for the 2030 census. again, like other things at the census bureau that has gotten not the kind of funding you might want to see in this part of the decade so probably a little behind. there is some work going on right now. it will grow dramatically in the next decade and the next census cycle will start in the year ending in two and that is when the funding will come in for the be next census.
>> and if you wouldn't mind introducing yourself. >> i'm ternie snead. i'm a reporter for the talking points memo. i want to circle back to terri-anne, about the prospect of lawsuits going into this next census. i was wondering if you would talk about what the lawsuits can look like. what the precedent is for lawsuits going into a census and elaborate more on what you fear that can do to a public p participation. >> right. there's work for you after. so this is probably, i think professor might definitely should answer this. i will say one sentence. the census has been for many decades been the subject for a lot of litigation. the very fascinating cases gone up to the supreme cospurt back
down, we've been there many times. supreme court -- >> to the extent the conversations about suits to be filed and under way. it is something best left until they are filed for various reasons. but -- in some ways you are asking a question about what does it mean for on the one hand for us to emphasize public confidence in something that we hope will deserve it and merit because of the way it is carried out by the civil servants trying to get it out and at the same time to see what is an increasing set of people arguing about it. and in some ways impugn it aspects of it by suing it. that has a lot to do with the messaging on how litigation goes on. there are things that i think would be worth suing on depending on how it shakes out and doesn't fundamentally impugn
a process or the people behind it. it is important and proven important in the past and resolved at varying levels of our judiciary. there are legit meant legal arguments that should be decided and people outside of the government or inside of the government perhaps they should not use that as an excuse to talk about the process as if it is somehow fundamentally derailed. that strikes me as important and the heart of the question you're asking, i happen to think it is true on a lot of fronts. an immense amount of litigation going on with respect to the current administration and with respect to the previous administration, to speak about that responsible spli ensure that folks realize at the end of the day this is how to resolve things and what a court is assumed to be obeyed. that is worth reminding folks
too. >> if i could add a closing thought on that. most of the -- a lot of lawsuits in the past, have been about the undercount. cities, and states and governors and advocacy groups like the naacp and suing to try and make sure before the census that the methods will be used will somehow reduce or eliminate or preclude, guard against an undercount and suits after a census when we know the census bureau measures its own accuracies that there has been undercounts. with all kinds of lawsuits surrounding the census, more to the law students here, courts have given deference to the census bureau in terms of the way it takes a census. what methods it uses. gives it a lot of flex kt in that regard. so i think the interesting legal question, also is what -- is
there a constitutional bottom line on accuracy? is there a point where the census is so flawed, the undercount is so high, the results are so inaccurate, that a court might step in and say, obviously after a case has been filed, this does not meet a constitutional standard or the standard that the constitution envisions for the census. that is a bottom-line question that we don't know skbret a very interesting one. this question of acceptable level of accuracy. professor, would you agree with that? >> it would be uncharted and interesting. whether as a general matter, the enumeration that the constitution calls for has some sort of judicialable standards
or in particular if you would think that the standards met for certain vulnerable and underprivileged grouped they have suffered an undercount. that would be interesting but so far as i know, uncharted territory. >> can i say one thing quickly? so in the history of suits against the bureau. it has gone beyond to your typical undercounted groups. so for example, i remember i was in the state of massachusetts and the census bureau counted the military that went to the supreme court. the state of utah sued on the use of implication that it may have been sampling. that went to the supreme court. the suits arose because of great concern because of the accuracy of an account of an area or the area would receive. not some of the judicial undercount. >> you are right. a lot of these other suits
resolved around resident rules that we talked about. where people are counting. that matters. in they are counting more overseas military population in some states than in others and that affects the congressional apportion meant. the state that didn't get the last seat is going to be angry and go to court. that has happened a number of times. we do find that the courts have generally given the census bureau deference in terms of these decisions about where to count people and again, and how to count people and so in my mind the unanswered question is, is there a floor that the constitutionally would urge -- prompt a court to step in and say this has gone below what's acceptable. >> does anyone feel that the change in residence rules for the overseas military population
but not for the prison population raised any flags? >> i think that it was actually a good thing more consistent with the census resident rule. what happens is, there are two -- there's a lot of different things but two ways to think of the military. you have those that are stationed overseas and you don't know where they are going to go for their next assignment. they can come back to the states. what the census bureau has been doing is been counting their home record. and the military is deployed and they are deplayed about six months and going to return to the base they are deployed from, so to count them at the base they are deployed from because there's a clear evidence they would be returning to that base. if you dig into the court case, the lawsuit about where to count the military. there is something in their that
they have endearing ties and intend to the united states. >> and this is what i can tell you. i was in congress when the census bureau and they passed, the bill that prompted the census bureau to decide to count the members of the armed forces and federal civilian employees stations overseas during the census m in the state population totals used to report to congress only, back for the 1990 census and took years to com to a political agreement on that because it affected congressional apportion meant. i do -- so the one thing i can tell you. there's going to be some surprises on december 31st, 2020 when the census bureau reports the state population totals and the apportion meant to the president. the members of the armed forces
over saes in a different way this time, as john just described, the those who are deployed and stationed state-side. i don't have a lot of money to wager, it will affect one seat and some member of congress is going to wake up and say why i didn't pay attention to this when the census bureau was looking at these residence rules three years ago? >> hi, i'm rich cohen and i happen to graduate from this law center 1972, makes me older than terri-anne and because of that i spent one year as a student in this place first and second year at an old red brick building which was not great. it is truly remarkable to see
the campus. impressive to see that has developed here. and a personal note, i am living-proof and there are plenty of others that one can graduate from the law school and not practice law or be a member of the bar covering congress. so my question is, this may be a false choice, and if so tell me. to what extent are your concerns about the census that the -- the problems that result will be deliberately or even maliciously imposed on the census by the administration or others or are your concerns also or even more so that there will be benign steps that are pursued and taken that could mess up and adversely
affect the census? thank you. >> i don't know if i would use those words. knowingly might be the word, we know knowingly. i don't know about deliberately or maliciously. i think we know if we take the question about asking about citizenship status, one, you know, there's a case to be made it is not necessary and asked already. but two, there's lots of qualitative and other work that would suggest that it might contaminate the results of the overall census. so i think that, that the funding proposals, of course congress ultimately has a -- when they decide to be a
political branch has as much say as the administration on the funding questions. but the bureau has been making clear for a long time they have been constrained as a matter of funding. and uncertainty in funding and having to cut tests. it is not something that anyone can really say, we had no idea that not funding the bureau would have unfortunate repercussions. so i think it would be hard to say that some of these risks right now are ones that were not once people were warned about or cautioned about. none of this is a done deal. there's time. and time to get things right. and i think so far, in some ways, i think back and things might have been much worse or could have been much worse than they are at this point. others should add more.
>> i'm worried now than i have been. this is my fourth census in the policy arena. indivar is right, there are challenges to every census and there's a different environment in which every census curse. i think i'm losing more sleep this decade and as i said earlier, i think there are unprecedent factors that taken together, are -- could create this perfect storm in 2020. so i hate to keep using the maritime analogy and say sink the ship. no one want that is and we're going to paddle as fast and hard as we can to help the census bureau do what it needs to do and to do the job right. >> and knowingly is a great word for it. it is knowing, goes to your point about this not just being
the responsibility of the executive branch and congress as well when it comes to funding. it is known there should be more resourcing going to this. it is known that in the current environment, especially you want to really want to understood cyber -- ahead of time. you especially want it given events over the past decade or so not just the past election cycle. and so, to see what from the outside appears to be insufficient concern including on the hill with the funding question, and to see what seems like not even a transparency with respect to the digital aspect of this and the security concerns, knowing that these are problems is the exact right
description. and the time window is quickly closing for dealing with them in a way that would be responsible. so i think that's a perfect word that indi chose. >> i'm chase gunner, i'm a reporter. i saw you before. my first question is when it comes to the 2018, dress rehearsal that's going on. how much can be done in terms of changing processes and catching up on readiness if there are problems found in 2018 before reaching 2020? and secondly, on the funding issue, i know the census now is under resolution like the rest of the government and they have a funding anom lee which allows them to spend higher velocity. what practical impact being under a cr this late in the game have on a census?
>> i guess there were a couple of questions. one, the census bureau did get an anom lee for '18 letting them spend more money than they had which is good. can they recover from -- i mean they expect to find some issues in their systems in the 2018 test. and the question is, how how much of a problem are the issues that they find? i think that -- from my perspective when i was there. i think the issues won't be big in terms of the automation and they will be able to deal with those. asterry an said, there are much bigger issues outside of what they are going to find in the auto medication that they are going to have to deal with. and continuing resolutions, you are right and it is most important for fy-'19 and the
census bureau is going to need to be spending a lot of money. and so they are going to need an anom lee and have a higher cap than they would normally get o are there's going to be serious problems. >> i think we are going to have to cut things off here. thank you very much. and i would like to thanks the panel one more time. thank you for being here and answering the questions we have had. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us. [ applause ] >> if you would like to speak with anyone on the panel outside during the reception, there will be wine and some finger foods served upstairs. and also as was mentioned, there are reports from indi's -- >> the poverty and inequality. >> thank you.
betsy devos answering questions about school gun policy. and she testified before a house appropriation subcommittee, you can watch the hearing starring at 9:00 eastern on c-span. the drug enforcement role in combatting the opioid epidemic, tonight at 9:00 eastern. our pod cast, c-span cease the weekly takes you beyond the headlines to explain in depth one news story shaping the conversation in washington and around the country. you will hear from leading journalists, policymakers and experts. find c-span's, the weekly on the free c-span radio app and on eye tunes and stitcher and on line at c-span.org. >> coming up tomorrow here,
homeland security career stin nielsen testified on election security and that will be live in the morning at 9:30 eastern and robert lighthizer will testify in front of the sfraet finance committee imposed by the trump administration and give an overview on u.s. trade policy. live coverage begins thursday, 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three. fema administrator brock long and others testify on lessons learned on 2017 disasters which include harvey, irma and maria. the house homeland security committee is considering reducing regulations and whether fema should become a