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Governor Cooper urges extension to the Census deadline

(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 7:36 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - Governor Roy Cooper joined a coalition of governors from Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington to urge the US Census Bureau to extend the Census through October 31 to help ensure a complete count.

In a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, Governor Cooper and the other governors outline concerns about the decision to end 2020 Census Count operations a month early, which could jeopardize efforts to get a complete and accurate population count as required by the U.S. Constitution every 10 years.

“Your recent announcement calls into question how millions of Americans who have yet to fill out their 2020 Census will be counted. It is surprising to hear how optimistic the Census Bureau is about being able to reach 100% in less than 60 days, given the current daily self-response rate and the fact that, as of the writing of this letter, only 63% of the country has responded to the 2020 Census,” Gov. Cooper and the other governors wrote in the letter. “By your own calculations made when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the October 31 date is crucial for the Census Bureau to be able to meet its constitutional obligation and do it in a way that does not jeopardize the public health.”

As of July 31, 41 percent of North Carolina households – an estimated 4 million residents – had not yet completed the 2020 Census. A potential undercount could put North Carolina at risk of losing $7.4 billion per year for health care, education, highways, community services, economic development, disaster recovery and more over the next decade.

North Carolinians who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census can do so by going to MY2020CENSUS.GOV, by calling 1-844-330-2020, or by mailing in their Census form if they received one in the mail.

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