The study reveals no major irregularities: NPR
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An independent panel of researchers said it found no major irregularities in the 2020 census results that were used to reallocate congressional seats and Electoral College votes for the next decade.
In a report released Tuesday, the American Statistical Association’s Census Experts Task Force also noted that despite concerns about interference from former President Donald Trump’s administration, their review found no “no evidence of anything other than an independent and professional census process” by the Census Bureau. career civil servants who took “corrective action where necessary”.
Their assessment is about five months after the April release of state population totals from a national head count that was upended by the timing of last-minute changes due to pandemic officials. and Trump coronavirus.
“We might have come to a different conclusion if the election had gone differently and they had to release numbers on December 31,” said Nancy Potok, a former deputy director of the Census Bureau who co-chaired the group. during a press briefing ahead of the report’s release in reference to failed efforts by Trump officials to expedite the delivery of state population numbers.
Instead, the bureau eventually pushed it back to do more quality checks, which Potok said gave the task force “a lot of confidence” in the agency’s work.
The report did not conclude that the census results were free of errors
The task force stopped short of declaring the first big set of results from the 2020 census without issue.
“We are statisticians, remember, so we think the lack of evidence is insufficient to say conclusively that there were no errors,” added Potok, who volunteered last year as a member of President Biden’s transition. agency review team for the department of commercewho oversees the office.
More assessments are needed, the task force warns, because its assessment was limited to examining how career staffers in the office prepared the Congressional distribution tally. Task force researchers also inspected some internal data files on state-level agency operations, which doesn’t provide a complete picture given that census turnout can vary widely by neighborhood.
The office, the task force said, received a copy of the report before it was released. In a reportthe bureau said it will “carefully consider” this analysis to prepare for the 2030 census.
Two original members of the task force, which was formed last year, were nominated by the Biden administration to join the office. Robert Santos, Biden’s nominee to be the next office director, and Kenneth Prewitta former bureau director who is now a senior adviser at the agency, resigned in April and was not involved in the final report, according to the task force.
There is another independent assessment of the census results
The bureau’s acting director, Ron Jarmin, told news conferences that while “no census is perfect,” the numbers released so far “meet our high standards for data quality.”
Yet, at the request of the bureau, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on National Statistics has established a separate independent panel that is also evaluating last year’s census.
The American Statistical Association’s task force said it no longer plans to release a report on the quality of the detailed demographic data used for redistricting that the bureau released in August.
Instead, he urges the National Academy of Sciences panel to watch closely the high rate of households not responding to race, Hispanic origin and other demographic questions on census forms, as well as last-minute changes to how government records were used to account for unresponsive households due to the Trump administration scaling back door-to-door efforts .
The task force also recommends that plans for the 2030 census include making quality indicators available on different operations for the count before the release of the first set of results, instead of months later.