Elections Impact

December 9, 2020

December 9, 2020

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn
Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends,
supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.
And now for today’s commentary –

This is Randy Russell sitting in this week for my dear friend and former boss, Jack Block. I served as Jack’s Chief of Staff at USDA when he was Secretary. There is no better friend and advocate for production agriculture and rural America than Jack Block. And I am truly honored to fill in for him today.

And now today’s commentary. The last two election cycles, millions of Americas have questioned the
outcome and legitimacy of the voting process. These concerns have only heightened following the
November elections. A recent survey by You Gov and the Economist found that 74% of Republicans, 45%
of the Independents, and 6% of the Democrats felt there was widespread voter fraud during the 2020

At the very heart of our American democracy is the right to vote. But it is more than that. Every eligible voter needs to have confidence that their vote was accurately counted, and the election system is secure. When millions of Americans feel this hasn’t happened—that voter fraud has occurred—our very democracy is threatened. Our nation’s leadership must address these concerns to ensure the sanctity and security of the American voting system. Our country and its citizens deserve nothing less.

And speaking of voting, do you know Joe Biden won only 17% of the roughly 3,000 counties in the U.S. This is the lowest percentage of counties won by a President-elect in the history of our country. I cannot think of any better argument against abolishing the electoral college than this fact. How do you think rural
America will fare if our President is elected by popular vote? Finally, the U.S. Census Bureau is completing the census, which takes place every ten years. One of the important effects of the census will be that our 435 Congressional Districts will be re-drawn. These re-drawn Congressional Districts will go into effect for the 2022 mid-term elections. States gaining population, such as Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, are expected to gain seats. States losing population, such as Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio, will likely lose House seats.

Importantly, only 35 of the 435 House districts are rural--meaning that 50% or more of their population is rural. Meanwhile, 195 House districts are considered urban. With the upcoming redistricting process, the 35 House districts that are considered rural will decline even further. What does this mean? In order for rural America to be successful going forward on key issues, such as farm bills and trade policy, it is imperative we build bridges to urban and suburban Members. This process must begin in earnest starting in January with the beginning of the 117th Session of Congress.

This is Randy Russell standing in for Jack Block, reporting from Washington. If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com.