The deadline to complete your Census so that you and your family can be counted is fast approaching. The Census is used to reapportion Congressional districts, state legislative districts and state school board districts. It is also important in how federal funds are re-distributed to states, counties and cities.[mfn referencenumber=Correction]A previous version of this article — including its headline — stated that the deadline for the U.S. Census was Tuesday, Sept. 30. The current deadline is Oct. 5, though it may be extended by court order. We sincerely regret the error.[/mfn]
“Without every Alabamian being counted, Alabama will lose a Congressional seat, an Electoral College elector, and its share of federal funding,” said Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama. “That’s why it’s so important for Alabamians to be counted in 2020.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Alabama, said in an email to constituents, “We are in the final stretch of the self-response phase of the 2020 Census, and it’s critical you participate. … Please be sure to do your part and complete your Census response before the upcoming deadline, and encourage your family and friends to participate as well.”
“Time is running out,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said on Twitter. “Respond to the 2020 Census today.”
The Secretary of Commerce has announced a target date of October 5, 2020 to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations.
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) September 28, 2020
There has been confusion about when the Census count will end. Last week, a federal judge ordered the Census Bureau to scrap its Sept. 30 deadline, automatically reverting the deadline back to the original Oct. 31 deadline. Then the U.S. Census Bureau, however, said it plans to end the count on Oct. 5.
It remains unclear if the judge will intervene again and order the count to continue through October.
There are four ways to complete your 2020 Census:
- Online at my2020census.gov. (Note: The Census ID number included on your original invitation letter is not required to complete the census online).
- Call the U.S. Census Bureau toll-free at 844-330-2020. Telephone assistance is also available in multiple languages.
- By mail: Return the paper form included with your invitation letter.
- In person with a Census enumerator/representative that visits your home.
Any errors or under counts in this census will not be corrected for ten years. An under count could lead to lost federal funds for the state, towns and counties.
At this point, it appears that Alabama will lose at least one of our seven Congressional districts as well as one of our nine Electoral College votes based on the modest population growth in the last decade in Alabama and the poor census response rate.
The Census is mandated in the U.S. Constitution.