Barack Obama Slams Donald Trump's 'Disturbing' Attempts To Restrict Census Ahead Of Election

During a livestreamed event for All on the Line, alongside former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama took aim at President Donald Trump and the Republican Party for their purported attempts to restrict the 2020 census, Newsweek reported.

"Frankly, and disturbingly, we have a president and an administration that seems to be doing it's best not to count people who need to be counted, but who they prefer not being counted, particularly people of color, and lower-income folks," the former U.S. leader said.

As noted by Newsweek, Trump in 2019 attempted to add a question about American citizenship to the U.S. census, which is intended to count everyone residing in the country. According to experts, the president's question would have decreased responses from undocumented immigrants. More recently, Trump's administration asked the Supreme Court to allow it to cut the timeline for the census short, which the publication said would effectively deprive citizens of government funding. In particular, this decrease would allegedly hit Democratic regions the hardest.

Obama called on voters to pay close attention to local and state elections and hold officials accountable for misconduct that could influence the electoral map.

"There's a reason why folks try to suppress the vote. Even if you're cynical about your own power and voting, think about it: Why would folks go to so much trouble to make it hard for you to vote if it weren't for the fact that they knew if you did vote, things would change?"
The former president also used his appearance to raise his concern about Republican Sen. Mike Lee's recent tweet that America's political system is not intended to work toward democracy — a process the senator said can run counter to peace, liberty, and prosperity. As reported by Global News, Lee's comment drew backlash from many, including Obama, who claimed that the remarks reflect the "spirit" of the Republican Party. The GOP has notably received criticism for its opposition to mail-in voting amid the 2020 election.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pauses during a campaign event September 6, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Getty Images | Alex Wong

In recent months, some have sounded the alarm over Trump's purported attempts to decrease voter turnout. Per The Inquisitr, some believe that he will send federal agents to polling locations to curb turnout and disrupt the election in his favor. According to Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh, these worries are unfounded. Instead, Murtaugh turned his attention to Democrats, who he claimed are attempting to use mail-in voting to hijack the forthcoming election via ballot harvesting and fraud.

According to Trump, the vote-by-mail process is vulnerable to a significant degree of fraud — a claim that has received pushback from experts who suggest that such activity has not been widespread thus far. However, it has not been used on the scale that it has in the 2020 election.