FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2018
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 1
ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE MARSHALL PRAISES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
DECISION TO REINSTATE CITIZENSHIP QUESTION IN CENSUS
(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall praised the Trump
administration’s decision today to reinstate a question about citizenship to the national census.
Attorney General Marshall requested the citizenship question be added to ensure that the U.S.
Department of Commerce collects full and accurate citizenship data during the 2020 census.
“I am pleased that the Trump administration has agreed that collecting accurate citizenship
data is important to all levels of government in determining compliance with the Voting Rights
Act and the Constitution,” said Attorney General Marshall. “It just makes sense that
government has a more accurate record for the census and reinstates the practice of including a
citizenship question in the next census.”
On February 23, 2018, Attorney General Marshall wrote U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur
Ross requesting that his agency resume the practice of including a citizen question in the
“State and local governments use census data in redistricting after the decennial census. This data
allows state and local governments to draw accurate district lines that equalize population, consolidate
communities of interest, and comply with the Voting Rights Act and United States Constitution.
Citizenship data is especially important in redistricting because, along with voting-age information,
citizenship data allows state and local bodies to identify the total potential voting population in any given
Attorney General Marshall noted the Census Bureau has historically included a citizenship
question on the “long form” questionnaire sent to households during the census which is taken
every ten years. However, in 2000, the long form questionnaire was replaced with the
American Community Survey (ACS) which reaches fewer people.
“The ACS does not provide citizenship data at the level of detail the States and localities need,” Attorney
General Marshall noted in his letter to Secretary Ross.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced reinstatement of the citizenship
question in the 2020 census. The Department noted the citizenship question will be the same as
the one included in the yearly American Community Survey.
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