Governor Roy Cooper urges extension to the census deadline

North Carolina

This April 5, 2020, photo shows a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. The U.S. Census Bureau needs more time to wrap up the once-a-decade count because of the coronavirus, opening the possibility of delays in drawing new legislative districts that could help determine what political party is in power, what laws pass or fail and whether communities of color get a voice in their states. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) North Carolina and seven other states seek to continue the 2020 Census through October.

Governor Roy Cooper joined a bipartisan coalition of governors from Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington to urge the US Census Bureau to extend the Census through October 31 to help ensure a complete count.

In a signed letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, Governor Cooper and the other governors outline concerns about the decision to end 2020 Census Count operations a month early, which could jeopardize efforts to get a complete and accurate population count as required by the U.S. Constitution every 10 years.

“Your recent announcement calls into question how millions of Americans who have yet to fill out their 2020 Census will be counted. It is surprising to hear how optimistic the Census Bureau is about being able to reach 100% in less than 60 days, given the current daily self-response rate and the fact that, as of the writing of this letter, only 63% of the country has responded to the 2020 Census,” Gov. Cooper and the other governors wrote in the letter. “By your own calculations made when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the October 31 date is crucial for the Census Bureau to be able to meet its constitutional obligation and do it in a way that does not jeopardize the public health.”

North Carolinians who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census can do so by clicking here, or calling 1-844-330-2020.

You can mail your Census form if you received one in the mail.

A complete and accurate Census count could bring $1,823 per person per year in federal and state funds back to North Carolina communities, helping our most vulnerable populations including the elderly and communities of color.

An undercount could also jeopardize North Carolina adding another seat in the US House of Representatives to represent the people of our state’s interests.

The full letter can be read here.

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