Census bureau intends to finish counting by Oct. 5

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

UPDATE: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has declared Oct. 5 the “target date” to finish self-response and field data collection operations, despite being three weeks earlier than the cutoff date set by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in an order last week.

ORIGINAL STORY: A federal court has ordered the Trump administration to extend the time for census counting for an additional month, making the deadline Oct. 31, according to NPR.

The census was originally supposed to end Wednesday, but a judge said it was unlikely 99% of the counting would be completed by then.

It’s important everyone gets counted, as the census affects the number of representatives each state gets in Congress as well as funding on the state and federal levels. Your local hospital, your child’s school, non-profits that help many in the community put food on the table, even road improvement projects rely on population-based funding. And the number will stick with us for the next decade.

“Schools, all the social programs, grants that we receive, even, to a certain extent, all of this COVID CARES Act money we’re getting, was population-based,” said Joan LaGuardia of the Lee County Census Team. “The fact that Lee County could establish its population as over the 500,000 threshold meant that we got direct appropriations, so the CARES Act money got to us quicker.”

She explained how even a single household going uncounted can have serious consequences.

“The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity calculated a figure to help us understand the loss of a non-counted household,” LaGuardia said. “That was $1,500 per year, so that’s how we arrived at the figure of $27 million that would be our loss if the people who are currently uncounted stay uncounted.”

If you lost the census form you received in the mail, use the census website to complete your questionnaire or call (844) 330-2020.

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