Every ten years political representation in the U.S.House of Representatives is redistributed (reapportioned) among the fifty states.The process began anew with the 2010 census, which is counting the nation's population as the basis for reapportionment.The decennial census has a history wrought with failures and inaccurate counts. In Vote Thieves, geographer Orlando J. Rodriguez shows how our current method of apportionment creates an incentive for illegal immigration and polarizes our political system. Historically it caused the end of the Federalist Party, bolstered slavery, disenfranchised African Americans after Reconstruction, fostered segregation in the South, denied voting rights to women, and disenfranchised voters in the presidential election of 2000. Since 1989, six congressional bills have attempted to change the population basis for apportionment; ne passed. Currently under review in Congress, House Joint Resolution 53 would amend the Constitution to include only citizens in the apportionment base.The 2008 presidential platform of the Republican Party included a similar call to change the apportionment basis. This issue affects all U.S. residents - legal and illegal alike. Recent history has triggered a growing suspicion among Americans that their political system is flawed. Vote Thieves explains a singular flaw that voters suspect but cant put in plain words, and gives them the information they need to petition for a more responsive political system.
Orlando J. Rodriguez is a geographer and former manager of the Connecticut State Data Center at the University of Connecticut. His reports on the impact of illegal immigration on apportionment have been widely covered by the media, and his knowledge of population issues has been used as expert testimony in federal court. He is currently employed as a senior policy fellow for a nonprofit that advocates for families and children. He lives in Willington, Connecticut.