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Committee Demands Documents After Reports That Career Census Experts Warned That They Cannot Produce Accurate 2020 Census Count

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 19, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham seeking the urgent production of documents relating to multiple press reports that career officials at the Census Bureau have determined that they are unable to produce an accurate 2020 Census count prior to January 26, 2021, and possibly well into February 2021. 

In a statement posted on the Census Bureau’s website, Director Dillingham confirmed that “anomalies have been discovered” during data processing.

“Unfortunately, the Committee was not informed about these anomalies before they became public,” Chairwoman Maloney wrote.  “To the contrary, the Census Bureau cancelled several weekly staff briefings on the status of the 2020 Census over the past month.  In addition, when Committee staff requested a briefing earlier today about these new developments, they were refused.”

“The Committee must have reliable and accurate information in order to fulfill our responsibilities under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the 2020 Census,” she continued.  “To date, however, we have been forced to obtain information from whistleblowers who have produced internal documents that have been withheld for no valid reason.”

On September 2, 2020, the Committee released an internal Census Bureau document warning that the Trump Administration’s plan to rush data processing created a high risk of an inaccurate census.  This document echoed previous statements from both Director Dillingham and Secretary Ross that “[i]n order to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the 2020 Census,” additional time would be needed to produce census apportionment counts.

The Census Bureau did not produce this document to the Committee or convey any of its critical warnings.  Instead, the Committee obtained it from another source.

Today’s letter requests all documents regarding the accuracy of 2020 Census data processed by the Census Bureau, including memoranda and slide presentations prepared or used in connection with briefings for Director Dillingham, Secretary Ross, or other Trump Administration officials regarding data processing anomalies, data accuracy, or potential delays by November 24, 2020.

Click here to read today’s letter.

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