More Census insanity: Count the homeless – twice (or more)
On the last three days of March, teams of temporary Census Bureau workers visited the types of places, including what the bureau calls “targeted non-sheltered outdoor locations” (TNSOL), where homeless people are known to congregate. These workers were carrying out the “Service-Based Enumeration” (SBE) phase of the Census, which counts the nation’s homeless population.
The bureau gave these workers two instructions that seemed peculiar: When they counted a homeless person, the workers did not need to take the person’s name or date of birth, and if a presumed homeless person insisted he or she had already been counted by the Census, the workers were supposed to count that person anyway.
WTF? How do you count a person if you don’t, at the very least, take their name? What do you record for this person? And, if they say they’ve already been counted, you’re supposed to count them again anyway? What kind of insanity is this?
According to a report from the Inspector General of the Commerce Department:
“Unique to this operation, enumerators were allowed to create an individual Census record based on their direct observation of the race, gender and ethnicity of the respondent,” the IG reported. “Enumerators were not required to obtain names or dates of birth from such respondents. Additionally, the Census Bureau’s GQE manual indicates that enumerators should recount any individual who asserts that he/she has already been counted.”
The IG’s office reported that some workers were naturally disinclined to follow the bureau’s instructions to recount a person who claimed he had already been counted. Sometimes a person who said he had been counted already was counted again, sometimes not. The same happened with people who said they had an address.
OK, at least we’ve got the race, gender, and ethnicity covered. These are, after all, the most important responses. I’m beginning to see what one of these records look like. UGH.
The writer tried to get a comment from the Census bureau on this ludicrous folly:
On Wednesday, I asked the Census Bureau why it told enumerators to count homeless people who said they had already been counted, why did it not record the names and dates of birth for the homeless people it counted, and what process it is using “to remove duplicate records for enumerations that were simply based on direct observation of race, gender, age or ethnicity, and in which no birth date or name was provided?”
Census spokesman Michael G. Cook responded by email. “We have a process for dealing with duplicate responses to the 2010 Census to which the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Inspector General (IG) are very familiar,” he said.
Oh OK, you’ve got it covered then. By the way, what policy is it that allows you to deal with duplicate responses when the person’s name is not recorded? I would think that would be a pretty important criteria to determine a duplicate record. Apparently the IG’s office wasn’t aware of this or it wouldn’t have issued the report in the first place. F**king moron!
The 2010 Census is shaping up to be one massive FAIL. It has to make you wonder which assclown came up with these ridiculous policies? Who the hell is in charge here?