Flawed census should not stand unchallenged
Here is what Dr. Ron Jarmin, U.S. Census Bureau acting Director, stated in a July 28 press release:
“Since releasing the apportionment results in April, we’ve had several teams working hard on the next set of 2020 Census data — the redistricting data. These data play an important role in our democracy and will begin to illuminate the changes to the local and demographic makeup of our nation over the last decade.
“These data include the first sub-state population counts and demographic characteristics from the census, information that states typically use for redistricting — the process of redrawing electoral district boundaries based on where their populations have increased or decreased.
“Although redistricting is a state function, the U.S. Census Bureau performs an important role in the process — providing quality data to the states from the census that states may choose to use in redistricting.”
Basing such vital redistricting decisions on the fatally-flawed Census 2020 results, which seriously and intentionally undercounted millions of American residents, particularly many minorities and low-income people, has provided the former Trump Administration with one final chance to ruin American democracy.
Besides those who failed or refused to complete Census 2020 forms, due to the severe COVID-19 health threats from poorly-designed Census 2020 operations, there was an intentional loss of six months of Census 2020 time from starting four months late – and then ending two months early, on September 30, 2020.
According to the New York Times: “The inspector general of the Commerce Department said that this compressed schedule threatened reliability of both head count and data processing error checks that follow it.”
Thus, due to admitted Trump White House pressure, a mockery and a falsity were made out of Census 2020 as a constitutionally required count of all people living in the United States. As a census taker who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, I am compelled to speak out against these major abuses of Census 2020, which will determine each state’s number of U.S. House Representatives, as well as how much federal funding each state will receive.
Evidence shows that progressive Blue States lost out in Census 2020, while arch-conservative Red States gained both congressional seats and billions of federal dollars. That dubious result casts grave doubt on the accuracy of released Census 2020 figures, such as the inflated claim that 96% of American households were already counted on September 23, 2020.
It is truly said that, while figures do not lie, liars indeed can figure. Demonstrable lies and liars were the former Trump Administration’s modus operandi, with literally tens of thousands of mistruths during its four-year “reign of error.” We must not perpetuate such abuses by allowing them to determine vital congressional seats and federal funding.
Independent congressional review of Census 2020 results and procedures is vital, and indeed is our constitutional duty to assure a full and fair count of all residents. America deserves no less.
Eugene Elander is an economist and served on the decennial census staffs in 2000, 2010, 2020.
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