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Census Bureau to hold count through end of October

Census Bureau to hold count through end of October
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The Census Bureau announced Friday it will continue conducting its count through the end of the month after a lengthy court battle with a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh had ruled last month that the decennial count should continue through the end of October and that the bureau’s efforts to wrap up the process Oct. 5 was inoperable. Still, the agency issued a statement Monday indicating it still was looking to meet Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossIt's time to reckon with space junk Census Bureau to hold count through end of October Judge begins contempt proceedings for Wilbur Ross over allegedly defying census order MORE’s goal of completing the census count by Monday. 

But the bureau reversed course Friday, saying it had sent a message to census takers that it would extend the count through Oct. 31.

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“As a result of court orders, the October 5, 2020 target date is not operative, and data collection operations will continue through October 31, 2020. Employees should continue to work diligently and enumerate as many people as possible. Contact your supervisor with any questions,” the message read.

Ross had abruptly moved the counting deadline in August, pushing the timeline for reporting numbers to the president to Dec. 31 instead of April 2021.

The shortened timeline advocated by the administration concerned observers who warned that an expedited count could be inaccurate and undercount communities of color, directly impacting the apportionment of both federal funds and House seats to each state.

Another court battle is being waged over the census in regard to a July memorandum that is trying to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted in the census. A panel of judges blocked that rule in September, though the government has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

Earlier Friday, the Census Bureau said more than 99 percent of American households had been counted.