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April-15-99

Bill Would Allow Local Challenges of Census

The U.S. House Representatives passed a bill that would allow local officials to demand a recount of Census figures by a margin of 223-206 on Wednesday.

House Democrats and the Clinton Administration opposed the bill, arguing that it was a ploy to frustrate attempts to correct traditional headcounts with statistically sampling. Proponents of statistical sampling argue that its use could correct the inadequacies of traditional headcounts, which have traditionally under-counted the number of democratic-voting minorities, immigrants and the poor.

Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York accused House Republicans of "want[ing] errors left in the census because they believe that those errors create a political advantage for them." House Republicans in turn accused Democrats of favoring statistically sampling for their own political advantage.

If passed in the Senate, the bill will be sent to President Clinton, who is expected to veto it.

Census figures are used in the allocation of huge amounts of federal funds for education, health care, law enforcement, and road construction.

Media Resources: New York Times - April 15, 1999