We have to wonder what President Trump has against giving people more time to fill out the U.S. census, particularly given that it must be tallied amid the global coronavirus pandemic, making in-person interviews difficult, if not dangerous. But Trump apparently wants the census over with sooner rather than later.
The census was scheduled to end on Oct. 31, but in August, the U.S. Census Bureau suddenly reduced the time frame by a month. Last Thursday, however, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, in northern California, issued an injunction requiring the Census Bureau to continue tallying people through the end of October, according to NPR. The Trump administration filed an appeal in federal court Friday.
Koh said that the administration’s shortened census time frame was likely to produce errors in the count. We agree.
We say this: Complete the census ASAP. No one, regardless of status, should be afraid to fill out it out. Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from sharing any information it collects with any other government agency. Its sole purpose is to count the number of people living in each state to apportion the correct number of U.S. representatives to the states and allocate the proper amount of federal funding to them.
According to the Census Bureau, you should be counted where you were living and sleeping most of the time as of April 1. If you’re responding for your home, count everyone who lives and sleeps there most of the time. That includes children, foster children, roommates, and any family members or friends who are living with you, even temporarily.
If someone is staying with you because of the pandemic, however, they should be counted where they usually live. This includes college students, who should still be counted at school. If they live in student housing, the college will count them. If they live off campus, they should respond for their off-campus addresses.
Completing the census takes no more than 10 minutes, and you can do so securely online at www.2020census.gov. To reach the U.S. Census Bureau for help, call (844) 330-2020 for English speakers and (844) 468-2020 for Spanish speakers. Representatives are available daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.