Ex-workers in California count allege falsified data, inaccuracy.
Posted at 09:18 PM on Thursday, Aug. 05, 2010By Michael Doyle / Bee Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Federal investigators probing discrimination complaints filed by former California census workers also are looking into allegations that management pressure drove some workers to cut corners or even falsify data in the crucial population count.
In one case, a former census worker allegedly tallied residents of a migrant farmworkers’ camp on the San Joaquin Valley’s west side, even though the camp itself was abandoned because of the region’s irrigation water shortage.
“The goals had everything to do with speed, and nothing to do with accuracy,” said Craig Baltz, a former worker in one of the Census Bureau’s two Fresno offices. “Instead of slowing down to ensure accurate data, we sped up.”
Baltz added that in some difficult-to-reach areas, “enumerators had two choices — turn in accurate work [late] and get written up or terminated, or falsify data and keep working.”
Baltz worked for the census between October 2009 and July 2010.Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/08/05/2031953/census-results-called-into-question.html#ixzz0w2VojsNA
Posts Tagged ‘accuracy’
A July 16th editorial in the Christian Science Monitor discusses the battle over congressional redistricting. The impact that 2010 Census data has on redistricting could be especially disturbing in light of recent concerns over the accuracy of this data:
All eyes are on the US House in this fall’s election, but that’s not the only place where a political earthquake might shake up power.
A mad scramble is also on to influence elections for state legislatures, as well as governors. National political bigwigs and big dollars – record amounts, actually – are focused on these local races.
The reason? This is a census year, and it is these newly elected officials who will use the new population numbers to redraw the boundaries of voter districts. Those districts will then set the contours of power and policy for the next decade.
Republicans see the opportunity for a long-lasting comeback in Washington if they can tip enough statehouses their way, and thus come up with voter districts likely to elect Republicans to Congress again and again. Likewise, Democrats are working hard to defend their mapping turf.
There would be nothing wrong with the mad scramble were it not for the fact that it’s scrambling American democracy. Many state legislatures and governors have gotten increasingly caught up in sophisticated “gerrymandering” of voter districts – shaping “safe” districts according to computer programs that reliably return incumbents to power.
Legislators are selecting their voters, instead of voters selecting their lawmakers.
The US Constitution requires redistricting after every census in order to make districts roughly equal in population, guaranteeing equal representation across the land. It leaves the method up to the states, though, and oh, the self-serving methods that many state politicians have chosen.
The party in power uses technology to account not only for population, but also voter registration data, voting patterns, and the addresses of incumbent lawmakers (in some cases, maps have been refigured so that an incumbent of the opposing party is drawn right out of his or her home district).
Thus are born districts that are no longer competitive, that don’t foster the free exchange of ideas, that hatch more extreme candidates who play to their home base, and that lead to hardened, immovable positions in elected bodies.
Before you criticize this post as coming from a partisan media outlet, TownHall.com, read its claims over for legitimacy, as it seems to be legitimate:
“”We identified concerns with … inconsistent handling of individuals who either (1) stated that they had already been counted, or (2) stated that they had an address,” the IG reported. “We observed 83 enumerations — at shelters, soup kitchens, food vans and TNSOL sites — carried out by 13 local offices. In over half of our observations, enumerators were inconsistent in deciding whether or not to recount individuals who stated that they had already been counted. We also identified inconsistent practices when respondents indicated that they had an actual residential address. In particular, some of these individuals were counted during SBE, while other individuals were told that they could not be counted because they were not homeless. The enumerators’ natural inclination to avoid duplication often contradicted the procedures in the Census GQE manual.”"