Census Bureau announces end to population count after Supreme Court action

Census workers make final push before Friday morning cutoff

Census workers make final push before Friday morning cutoff

This article is republished here with permission from The Associated Press.

A Supreme Court decision this Tuesday allowed the Trump Administration to effectively end the 2020 Census ahead of schedule.

But any inaccurate count means loss of money. Now, it's ending two weeks early.

The Supreme Court justices' ruling came as the nation's largest association of statisticians, and even the U.S. Census Bureau's own census takers and partners, have been raising questions about the quality of the data being gathered - numbers that are used to determine how much federal funding and how many congressional seats are allotted to states.

Thursday is the last day to be counted in the 2020 Census, the agency announced earlier this week after a long back and forth about when data collection would end.

The Trump administration said it changed the time line in order to meet a 31 December deadline set by statute for delivering census results to the president.

Advocates are particularly anxious that ethnic minorities, and people in rural and tribal areas, are going to be missed by ending of count, resulting in less federal funding for those communities and perhaps fewer congressional seats and electoral votes for states that have large minority populations.

The Trump Administration previously tried to move up the count's deadline to September.

The US Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to wind down the 2020 US census.

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However, as noted by Ninth Circuit dissenting Judge Patrick Bumatay - with whom the justices agreed - the constitutional mandate for administration of the census does not mention "accuracy" in the count.

However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption of campus life, students who are unsure if they've been counted should still submit their information.

When the pandemic hit, the U.S. Census Bureau extended the response period for the Census to October 31. "There are many states that weren't impacted (by the coronavirus pandemic) in the early phases of the Census and were able to go about their business and do this, and those are not the east coast or the west coast states, they are the red states, for lack of a better term".

When the Census Bureau, and the Commerce Department, which oversees the statistical agency, picked an October 5 end date, Koh struck that down too, accusing officials of "lurching from one hasty, unexplained plan to the next ... and undermining the credibility of the Census Bureau and the 2020 Census". Since it didn't, the court ruled that the count must end in order for the deadlines to be met. "This representation is contrary to the government's repeated assertions to the courts below that it could not meet the statutory deadline under any circumstances".

"We lose 1,440 dollars per person per year in funding", Housel says.

The census count's accuracy is critical, as it determines how the House of Representatives and state legislatures draw voting districts and guides the allocation of $1.5 trillion a year in government aid.

Prior to this week's deadline announcement, the Waterbury Complete Count Committee was working on a series of events to reach residents, said MaLisa Blasini, Waterbury's census community outreach coordinator.

Advocates still hold out hope that Congress will pass legislation that will extend the apportionment deadline from December 31 to the end of next April in order to give the Census Bureau enough time to check the quality of the data, remove duplications and fill in missing information with administrative records.

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