Lawsuit says census takers were pressured to falsify data

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The U.S. Census Bureau was able to claim it had reached 99.9% of households when the 2020 census ended two weeks ago because census takers were pressured to ...
falsify data as the statistical agency cut corners and slashed standards, according to an amended lawsuit from advocacy groups and local governments.

In Baltimore, Southern California and the states of Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas, some households were marked as completed after only one attempt to reach residents living there, according to the revised lawsuit filed by the National Urban League; the city of San Jose, California; and others.

Elsewhere, census takers were pressured by supervisors to close cases as quickly as possible, and they did this by guessing the number of people living in a household, claiming an address was too dangerous to visit or falsely saying residents of a household had refused to answer questions during door-knocking, said the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose.

"Instructions such as those identified above suggested to enumerators that they should falsify data to close cases quickly," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit argues the disregard for accuracy was done to end the count early so that census numbers could be processed while President Donald Trump was still in the White House, regardless of who wins the presidential race. That would allow the Trump administration to enforce a presidential order seeking to exclude people living in the U.S. illegally when congressional seats are divvied up among the states.

According to the lawsuit, the…
Associated Press, MIKE SCHNEIDER
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