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To get more accurate census, bill calls for more access for employees

Census employees would have the same access to multi-unit residential buildings as candidates for elected office currently do under a bill its sponsor says could be critical to Minnesota keeping its current eight congressional seats.

Redistricting will occur following the 2020 census and Minnesota, depending on population shifts, is in real danger of losing one of its eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The best way to ensure the state’s federal representation isn’t reduced, says Rep. Fue Lee (DFL-Mpls), is to make sure all Minnesotans are counted in the decennial tabulation.

HF2059, sponsored by Lee, would amend a section of the Fair Campaign Practices Act to allow census workers to access residential facilities like apartment buildings, college dorms and nursing homes. Currently, that right is afforded candidates campaigning for public office.

“Having a good census count is the foundation for a fair democracy,” said Susan Brower, the state’s demographer.

The bill was held over Friday by the House Subcommittee on Elections for possible inclusion in an omnibus elections bill. There is no Senate companion.


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