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2020 Census: Census Bureau to miss December 31 deadline


The #Wednesday announcement was expected, and the key question remains whether the #Census #Bureau and #Commerce #Department will present the tally to #President #Donald #Trump prior to his departure from office on #January 20. There are no penalties associated with missing the #December 31 deadline.

The #Census #Bureau said in a statement that it plans “to deliver a complete and accurate state population count for apportionment in early 2021, as close to the statutory deadline as possible.”

#It is unclear if the #Trump administration has sufficient data to carry it out — or if it does, if the data is enough to actually affect how many seats each state receives.

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#If the numbers are produced after #Trump leaves office, #President-elect #Joe #Biden is not expected to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count.

#Wednesday’s statement said the #Census #Bureau continues to process the data it gathered from surveys conducted online, on paper, by telephone and in person earlier in the year.

#Commerce #Secretary #Wilbur #Ross, who oversees the #Census #Bureau, had pushed officials to complete the count by #December 31 — even after officials briefed him that a truncated schedule would put multiple states at risk of an incomplete count.

The final schedule gave #Census officials about half the time they had planned for completing the complex work of processing data.

#Internal documents obtained in early #December by a #House committee investigating the #Trump administration’s handling of the census revealed data issues and “high complexity” problems threaten to delay completion of the tally until #February. The #Census #Bureau director has not explained the issues but said they have “occurred in past censuses.”

#Even before the data issues cropped up, the top career census official managing the 2020 census said the bureau was targeting completion by “the first or second week of #January.”

#In addition to the political controversies, which critics argued made the count harder to complete, counting the nation’s population was also complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The #Commerce #Department inspector general said #Wednesday the #Census #Bureau cut corners with a quality control process and determined the issues call into question the results for “more than 500,000” households. #It said one reason the #Census #Bureau didn’t complete the quality checks was because of the compressed time schedule.

#While there are no penalties associated with missing the deadline, #Justice #Department attorney #Brad #Rosenberg mused at a #September court hearing that missing the deadline would be grounds for #Congress to reject the numbers.

“#It’s possible that if the #Census #Bureau provides its enumeration at some point in #January … that #Congress would still accept that number,” #Rosenberg said. “#But it’s also possible — and I don’t represent #Congress so I just don’t know the answer to this — that they might not. #If they miss the statutory deadline, it’s unclear whether #Congress would still be bound to accept any numbers submitted by the president after the date.”

#That outcome is not expected.

The delay and rush to produce the numbers used to divide up congressional seats are expected to have a ripple effect and produce further delays.

#After producing the apportionment figures, the #Census #Bureau turns its attention to producing the massive data files used by state governments to draw new congressional districts.

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#For apportionment, only an overall number of people in each state is needed. #But the redistricting data requires more granular details about who those people are and where they live.

The #Census #Bureau has not yet announced when it anticipates completing those files. #It typically works to meet the individual deadlines set by the laws of each state.



[ source link ]
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/30/politics/census-2020-deadline/index.html

##Census ##Census ##Bureau ##December #deadline

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