U.S. Census Deadline, Young Voter Turnout And Jon Secada Performing In A Virtual Concert
The Supreme Court ruled the u.s. Census count can end this week. Plus, a look at young voters in Wisconsin and Florida and what's getting them to turnout this election. And Grammy award winner Jon Secada in a virtual concert benefiting those impacted by COVID-19.
On this Thursday, Oct. 15, episode of Sundial.
The U.S. Census is ending the national head count early following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week.
Individuals have until about 6 a.m. EST tomorrow to ensure they are counted in the 2020 Census.
WLRN is committed to providing the trusted news and local reporting you rely on. Please keep WLRN strong with your support today. Donate now. Thank you.
The pandemic has significantly impacted the ability of Census workers to go door to door and reach families that normally don’t take part in the federally mandated population count that happens every ten years.
Mike Schneider has been following the Census for the Associated Press out of Orlando this year. He explained the original deadline was set for Oct. 31 but was moved up because of the Supreme Court ruling.
“There are still people that could’ve been counted in the next two weeks,” said Schneider on Sundial. “There’s a greater concern right now with whether the Census is going to be able to crunch all the numbers accurately between now and December 31. They had originally given themselves five to six months to crunch these numbers and now they have less than 3 months to do that.”
The Census is required to provide updated population information by the end of the year. These data are used to determine whether new congressional districts should be apportioned, how federal funding is allocated for education and infrastructure and much more.
Schneider said Florida could have gained new congressional districts in the central and southwestern portions of the state given the population growth in those regions, but it’s unclear whether those populations will be entirely accounted for in this year's count.
Youth Voter Project
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both appeared in South Florida this week for campaign events. The candidates have made their appeals to senior voters, the largest voting bloc in the state.
But the question of whether younger voters will turn out this election remains unanswered. In the 2016 presidential election, slightly more than 50% of voters aged 18-29 participated according to analysis from the Brookings Institution.
Over the past year, students at Florida International University, led by associate journalism professor Daniel Evans, have been interviewing more than a hundred young voters from Wisconsin and Florida to learn whether they’ll be participating in the November election and to hear some of the questions they have.
“Wisconsin young voters are turning up more than anywhere else in the nation,” said Evans on Sundial. “The rate of young voters in Florida has been on the uptick since 2012 but we are still pretty low. But we are still ranked 40th in the nation.”
The journalism project was funded by the Renewing Democracy grant, which seeks to determine why voter turnout is low in certain places and how turnout can be improved, by studying regions where there are higher rates of participation.
Selena Stanley, a senior at FIU who participated in the project, explained what she heard from voters and from her peers.
“One thing I learned while doing this project, is that for a lot of young people it’s not that they don’t care. They feel like the politicians for today really aren’t there to serve them. The things they really care about like affordable education or climate change are often overlooked. Especially with the candidates we have for the upcoming election.”
We spoke with Stanley and Evans about some of the reasons why young voters are turning out in smaller numbers in Florida and what can be done to improve turnout.
Jon Secada in COVID-19 Benefit Concert
Jon Secada is a Grammy award winning Latin fusion musician based in Miami. Secada was born in Havana in 1961, but moved to the United States ten years later after his father had been imprisoned under the Castro regime.
He credits the American music he soon became enamored with as key in helping him integrate into a new country.
“It helped me overcome the culture barrier for me, being an Afro-Cuban American and learning the language, it [music] helped a lot. I wanted to be engaged with American entertainment so much and at the same time I wanted to learn the language ... music was a bridge towards that," said Secada on Sundial.
Secada will be part of a virtual performance Saturday as part of the Jazz Aid Live concert series from the Banyan Bowl in Pinecrest Gardens.
It’s part of a larger concert series that will be live streamed in an effort to raise money for the World Central Kitchen, an organization led by Chef Jose Andres focusing on feeding families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.