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Walz Urges Census Bureau to Restore October Deadline
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/17/2020

Governor Tim Walz sent a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau this week urging the Bureau to reconsider their decision to end the 2020 Census response period one month early and extend the deadline to October 31, 2020, as originally planned. These last-minute changes to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the United States announced on Aug. 3 threaten the accuracy of population numbers used to determine the distribution of political representation and federal funding for the next decade.

"By your own calculations made when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Oct. 31 date is crucial for the Census Bureau to be able to meet its constitutional obligation and do so in a way that does not jeopardize the public health," reads the letter from Governor Walz. "As our state works to recover and rebuild in the eventual wake of the pandemic and the economic crisis it has spawned, having a complete and accurate count of all those living in Minnesota is critical to properly directing the resources we need to return to prosperity."

"In Minnesota, we know that everyone counts and everyone matters -- which is why we often lead the nation in Census response rates every decade," said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. "But we're not at 100% yet. Ending the 2020 Census response period early puts us at risk of an undercount, especially of Black communities, Native American communities, and communities of color, immigrants and refugees, renters, and children under five. At a time when resources and representation are critically important, we can't afford to miss anyone. We need to tell the full story of Minnesota."

Without an extension, the Census response period will end on Sept. 30.

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