Concerns about a US Census undercount mount

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WASHINGTON D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The US Census Bureau said the population count is ahead of schedule, but there are still 13 million households that haven’t responded to the population survey.

Tim Olson, Associate Director of Field Operations at the US Census, said the population county is ahead of schedule despite delays related to the pandemic.

“Overall, we’ve counted nearly 92% of households in the United States,” said Olson.

Still, lawmakers and experts like Alex Tausanovitch with the Center for American Progress worry that not everyone will be counted.

“As feared, the lower response rates are disproportionately affecting rural communities, communities of color,” said Tausanovitch.

Last week, House Democrats revealed internal Census documents, saying serious errors will occur because the Census Bureau is rushing the process. Right now, the Census Bureau plans to end the count one month early and cut data processing by two months.

Under-counting could cost some states billions of dollars in federal funding and seats in Congress.

“It is likely to affect large states that also have significant minority populations,” said Tausanovitch.

Even Olson says he has additional concerns.

“If there’s severe hurricane activity in the Southeast, that will certainly have an effect on our ability to finish up,” said Olson.

But the Census isn’t asking for more time. When asked why the deadline extension request was suddenly canceled, Olson responded, “If the law were to change, that would obviously provide more time, but that hasn’t changed.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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