Two census takers told The Associated Press that their supervisors pressured them to enter false information into a computer system about homes they had not visited so they could close cases during the waning days of the once-a-decade national headcount.
Maria Arce said her supervisor in Massachusetts offered step-by-step instructions in how to trick the system. She said she felt guilty about lying, but she did not want to disobey her supervisors, who kept repeating that they were under pressure from a regional office in New York to close cases.
“It was all a sham. I felt terrible, terrible. I knew I was lying. I knew I was doing something wrong, but they said, ‘No, no, we are closing. We have to do this,’” Arce said.