by Lindsay Keener
The US Census will end earlier than expected this year.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says the 2020 census will end Oct. 5, weeks before it’s original deadline of Oct. 31. The announcement was shared via a tweet posted by the Census Bureau on Monday.
The post said the new deadline will end attempts to mail-in questionnaire responses and door-to-door efforts to connect with those who haven’t filled out the census in 2020.
The announcement came as Judge Lucy Koh, the justice who ordered the original census end date, held a conference in the case. The Trump administration has also appealed her order to a higher court.
When making her ruling last Thursday, Koh said that shortening the allotted time given to collect data for the 2020 census would result in an incorrect count of American citizens.
Koh was not alone in her thoughts. Civil rights groups and local governments sued the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce, arguing that minorities and disadvantaged communities would be absent from the count if it ends early.
Some political officials are of the belief that President Trump is purposefully threatening the success of the US Census.
“It is time that the Trump Administration stopped working to politicize and jeopardize the 2020 Census,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has oversight over the Census Bureau.
The deadline has been the focus of conversations for months. Legal counsel for the federal government said that the headcount needed to end in late September if officials hoped to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for handing in figures used for apportionment.
Citizens and business across America have reported feeling moments of stress to abide by the Sep. 30 deadline, according to The Associated Press.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the Census Bureau extending the deadline from late July to the end of October this past April. The bureau also asked Congress for an extension on the numbers used for apportionment from the end of December to the end of April.
The House approved the additional time, but the Senate took longer to release its decision after President Donald Trump issued a memorandum prohibiting illegal immigrants from being counted in the apportionment.