Jan Meisels Allen
As previously reported by the IAJGS Records Access Alert, the US Census Bureau decided to an early cessation of the 2020 Census count. US District Court Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, issued a temporary restraining order against the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department. A court hearing is set for September 17 and the order stops the Census Burau from winding down until the hearing. The earlier date to wrap up was a month ahead of schedule.
“Because the decennial census is at issue here, an inaccurate count would not be remedied for another decade,” Judge Koh wrote.
The suit was filed last month by The National Urban League, the League of Women Voters and a host of advocacy groups and local governments. Their argument was that the order to end the head-counting portion of the census early will lead to an inaccurate tally that will cost some communities both political representation and millions of federal dollars that are allotted based on population totals. The lawsuit opposing the shortened deadline said the schedule suggested it was devised “to facilitate another illegal act: suppressing the political power of communities of color by excluding undocumented people from the final apportionment count.”
Former Census Bureau directors warned that earlier deadlines could not be met without shortcuts that would lead to a less accurate census and in particular would miss the poor, the young and minority groups who are traditionally the hardest to count.
As the pandemic swept the US this Spring, it forced the Census Bureau to postpone key parts of its population count until August. The Trump administration said at the time that it would extend the deadline for completing the count to October 31 to make up for that delay, and move the date for delivering population totals to the White House to April 2021, from its current December 31 deadline. But as census outreach prepared to resume last month, the administration reversed course, ordering the count wrapped up by September 30, and delivery of totals by December 31.
The census in addition to determining reapportionment for the House of Representatives, determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed.
To read more see: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/06/us/census-count.html
Currently, only 65.4% of US residents have self-responded to the Census and adding those who enumerated by a non-response follow-up (a census worker came to your door or called you) the percentage increases to 87.6% Still too low.
To see how your state fairs with enumeration go to: https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates/nrfu.html
US residents: Have you completed your Census form yet? You do not need to be a citizen to complete the US census form but you do need to be a resident. If you have not yet replied go to: https://2020census.gov/en.html
To access the previous postings about the 2020 US Census see the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts. You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee