COVID-19 and California’s Census Count

Eric McGhee
Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

The COVID-19 crisis has upended the carefully laid plans for the 2020 Census in ways that might have disproportionate effects on California’s count. The Census Bureau is making important adjustments, but California needs to be particularly vigilant about the potential consequences. The Bureau began its self-response period on March 12, when it started mailing out […]

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How Did California’s Voter Registration Rate Get So High?

Eric McGhee
Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

The most recent report on voter registration from the California Secretary of State offers startling news: the registration rate is now just above 80%, the highest it’s been before a primary election since World War II. With several months to go before the registration deadline, this rate is all the more remarkable considering the state’s […]

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Partisan Gerrymandering and the Role of Social Science in the Courts

Eric McGhee
Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

The US Supreme Court is considering a high-profile case that could change the way legislative maps are drawn and reshape elections. The court has invited social science to play an unusually significant role in its decision. On October 3, the court heard oral arguments in Gill v Whitford, a Wisconsin case that could result in the first constitutional constraints […]

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A Turnaround for Voter Turnout?

Eric McGhee
Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

The recent primary offered signs of improvement for California’s abysmally low voter turnout. Recent elections have seen some of the worst turnout in the state’s history. The 2014 election cycle was particularly dismal, but 2012 also set a new low for a presidential primary election. Moreover, California has beenlagging behind other states in both registration and […]

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Assessing the Top Two Primary

Eric McGhee
Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

With the voting this week, California has now entered its third election cycle with a “top two” primary. This system marks a radical departure from the “semi-closed” approach in place from 2002 through 2010. Under that system, those voters registered with a party could vote only for candidates of that party. By contrast, the top […]

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The Special Election and the Top-Two Primary

Eric McGhee
Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

Two Democrats are heading into a runoff in a big political fight for a seat in the state senate, representing the wealthy bedroom communities of the far eastern Bay Area. The contenders are Susan Bonilla, a Concord assemblymember, and Steve Glazer, the mayor of Orinda. The race was held under the rules of California’s new […]

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