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Governor Whitmer and Governors from Across the Country Urge the Census Bureau to Restore October 31 Deadline


August 18, 2020 



Governor Whitmer and Governors from Across the Country Urge the Census Bureau to Restore October 31 Deadline 


LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen WhitmerOregon Governor Kate Brown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott sent a joint letter to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce urging them to reinstate the Census collection and response period to October 31. The Census Bureau recently slashed the period by an entire month to September 30, 2020 


The Trump Administration’s last-minute, under-the-cover-of-darkness changes to the U.S. Census deadline threaten our ability to get an accurate count, which will be used to determine Congressional representation and federal funding for the next decade,” said Governor Whitmer. It is more important than ever that we be able to reach and account for every Michigander to ensure we receive funding for essential programs to help Michiganders recover from the COVID-19 crisis and be successful over the next decade – services like child care, education, foster care, and special educationI urge the U.S. Census Bureau to restore the Oct. 31 deadline to give states the time needed to get a complete and accurate count. I’m also calling on all Michigan residents to complete the Census immediately, whether it’s online, by phone, or by mail, to ensure our communities receive the resources they’ve worked so hard to earn. 


In April, Congress and the White House agreed to extend Census count operations through October 31 in light of the extraordinary challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is still a possibility that Congress will act to extend the statutory deadline for delivering the population count beyond December 31, 2020. 


Despite this agreement, in August, the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, quietly announced they were shortening the 2020 Census deadline to September 30, 2020. 


Historically, the U.S. Census has undercounted minorities, immigrants, those living in poverty, and young children. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, confirmed, and highlighted pre-existing inequities in Michigan and disproportionately affected communities of color making it all the more important that these populations are counted 


In Michigan alone, 3.3 million people are considered Hard to Count (HTC) based on the Census Bureau’s own Low Response Score calculation which factors in internet access, rental rate and more to determine which areas are less likely to respond to the 2020 census. With the shortened timeline, the Trump Administration is making it nearly impossible to ensure these HTC communities are counted and as a result compromising funding for all Michiganders.  


To view the letter, click the link below: