The Enumeration of the 2022 Census was deeply flawed; Congress Should Investigate

Taking a Decennial Census of all the people residing in the United States is specified in the Constitution, Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. The census is to be achieved by an actual enumeration of all residents. The Census Act of 1790 prescribed that the head of the family give the count of the actual number of persons in the household in five categories: Free White adult males, Free White males under 16 years, Free White females, All other free persons, and Slaves. Thereafter, all complete census schedules shall be posted in “two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction], there to remain for the inspection of all concerned. The aggregate number of each category of persons is to be transmitted to the President. The numbers of persons to be included are for the date August 2, 1790 [or prior].

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 describes the reason for taking the Enumeration is to allocate the number of seats in the House of Representatives for each state. Each state obtains seats for the whole number of its enumerated residents as a percentage of the whole number of persons enumerated in all the state combined. No state shall have less than one seat.

Unlike any previous census enumerations, the 2020 Census was proposed to include a question whether, or not, each person listed in the enumeration was a citizen of the United States, yes or no. This addition to the 2020 Census was proposed by President Trump and Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, to whom the Census Bureau belongs. The addition to the Census of the Questionnaire was immediately challenged by the Census Bureau staff as likely to cause large undercounts of the population. The reason this would result is because Hispanic persons were said to be suspicious of the federal the government in many previous census takings. Their fear was that the Immigration Department would round up alien Hispanics for deportation. If a large portion of a state’s residents were not enumerated, it would violate the Constitution’s enumeration clause and be particularly the resulting undercount would result in an unfair distribution of federal appropriations to the states based on each state’s percentage of persons resident. Hispanics, being not included by their resistance to being enumerated would penalize not just Hispanics, but the whole of the state’s population as well.

A great deal of pontificating arose and spread outside the government among the media, immigrant populations, immigrant associations, various charities benefiting immigrants, et al. Recall, the purpose of the decennial census to accurately allocate the number of House of Representative members to the individual states based on their population. If an overcount or undercount occurred, such as by the census question re: Hispanics, it would occasion a colossal political mess.

Foremost among the aggrieved institutions is The Brennan Center for Justice, a Democratic public law firm in New York. The Brennan Center sued the Department of Commerce to stop the citizenship question. There was also concern within the Census Bureau that adding the citizenship question would put the beginning of enumeration behind schedule and require greater than ordinary numbers of census-takers in the field. who had not yet been identified for recruiting and training. This provided the opportunity for the Brennan Center for Justice to take part in “assisting” the Bureau of Census, to meet the Constitution’s date for delivery of the Census to the President.

My research concluded the Brennan Center “helped” the Democratic Party in the same manner as a Professional Labor Law firm would help a union to unionize employees of a business corporation. In the instance of the census, the objective of the “help” was to lower the count of residents of red states and increase the number for blue states. This would provide more members of the House of Representatives siting in blue-state seats; but the gambit does not guarantee a controlling majority for either the political party. For example, Republicans might convert some of California’s red seats, but it would take probably decades of changes before the Republicans would become the majority. This is the probable reason the Census Bureau disaster raised no political objections.

The actual 2020 census enumeration was in fact a greatly flawed undertaking. The Inspector General for the Census Bureau has not yet made public report of findings, but it is sure to be a bombshell when issued. The Associated Press has learned a few items, such as Bureau supervisors pressuring their subordinates to enter false information on the Census Forms mailed to residents. Census takers have gathered questionnaires falsely completed them and submitted them to the Bureau. Elections provide similar opportunities to use ballots rather than census questionnaires having an election official or a party stalwart to harvest ballots and vote them. The flaws which were committed by the Bureau were probably all permitted to be used by whatever politically motivated enumerators were employed. However, there was another flaw introduced directly by the Bureau this year. Ninety-five percent of residence units were supplied with an online interactive map of census tracts, showing the specific tract each household belongs within. As questionnaires are returned and entered in the Bureau Computers, the household may view see the uptick for its submittal and a current count for the sum of their neighbors. Obviously, this is a tool to be used by census takers to have up-to-date information on which households need to be contacted to complete their submittal but would be as helpful to a rogue census-taker’ use too.

For the Bureau of Census to permit a wholly political institution to participate in any matter within the Census, especially after filing suit against the Commerce Department, is to say the least a breach of confidence about the Bureau’s supposed lack of partisanship. The Census was in fact completed with the Brennan Center’s involvement and delivered to the President on time.

When the census data is final or should it be said, reported as complete, the Bureau then performs a “Post-Evaluation-Survey” (PES) to determine the accuracy of the count. In the year 2010, the bureau reported an error rate of 0.01% in the census. This represents an overcount of only 36,000 people out of a total of above 300 million. The PES error rate for 2020 is enormously greater. The overcount is 4.7 million and the undercount 6.0 million; a net of 1.3 million compared to 36,000. The House of Representatives is changing for the next ten years

Keep in mind that when the House of Representatives is reallocates seats among the states, it does not mean that the balance of Republicans and Democratic representatives changes. If a state such as California loses a seat, which it did, it margin of control over the Republican minority is barely noticeable.
The following is derived wholly from the Bureau’s May 29, 2020, closing PES survey. The U.S. Census Bureau by publishing the survey admitted it is inaccurate. Nevertheless, politically the Census, right or wrong – were it to be abandoned and substituted the PES survey “corrections of errors” it would still represent a nearly meaningless shift in politics. Indeed, it was the flawed version of the survey that was used, as is. Populations of eight states were overcounted; Seven of the overcounted States are Blue, and only one Red. Undercounted states numbered six, of which five were red and only one Blue. In effect the Democrats harvested disproportionately better than Republicans. Five red states were undercounted, and eight blue states were overcounted. All 100% good for the Democrats, and zero for Republicans. In Civil Rights issues, this would be called proof of discrimination! September 29, 2020