On the heels of worries about electronic voting comes another concern about computerizing another essential government function: the census.
The U.S. Census Bureau is trying to eliminate as much paper as possible in the upcoming headcount. Most residents are going to be encouraged to fill out the census on the internet. Where census takers have to make a personal visit to a home to get the information, they will record the answers and transmit them using smartphones and a new mobile app that’s not been thoroughly tested.
Sound familiar? Another improperly vetted app recently created days of delay — and fueled conspiracy theories — in the Iowa Democratic caucuses.
The Census Bureau has been trying to downplay concerns about accuracy and security. There would be a lot more confidence in this modernization, though, if the agency were still not working through the kinks a couple of weeks before the count begins.