Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a coalition of attorneys general, municipalities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in taking legal action to oppose the early count deadline for the 2020 Census.
In August the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would be cutting the nonresponse follow up phase of the decennial count of every person in the United States short by one month, from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30. It’s an especially important part of the census for counting hard to reach populations like the homeless, rural communities, apartment complexes and immigrant communities.
“The Trump administration continues to show a blatant disregard for the federal government’s obligations under the Constitution, which includes properly compiling our nation’s population via the Census count,” Nessel said. “Fighting a pandemic is already a high hurdle to clear in obtaining an accurate count. It’s outrageous that we must also fight against an administration seeking to skew our population numbers.”
The coalition, made up of 23 other attorneys general, five cities, four counties and the bipartisan conference of mayors, filed an amicus brief in National Urban League v. Ross. It supports the plaintiffs’ request for a nationwide stay or preliminary injunction to stop the current schedule from moving forward, according to a press release.
An internal Census Bureau document obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee earlier this week stated that the bureau believes a shortened count schedule would increase the risk of “serious errors” in the data’s results, according to NPR.
Census historians, experts and those who have worked on past decennial counts have also stated that there’s major concern some populations will be undercounted throughout the U.S. given the coronavirus pandemic and the new count schedule.
Data from the decennial census, the county’s official population count of who lives where, will be used to allocate more than $1.5 trillion in federal funding to state and local governments, according to researchers. It’s also used to determine political representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and representation in state legislatures and county commissions.
As of Sept. 2, the most recent available numbers, Michigan was at a 70% census response rate. That’s five percent above the national response rate and just below Oakland County’s response rate at 78%.
Tameka Ramsey thought she’d have more time to talk to her friends, family and neighbors about why it’s important for them to fill out the 2020…
Oakland County residents will soon hear a knock on their door if they haven’t yet responded to the 2020 Census.
Michigan is the first state in the nation to surpass its 2010 response rate for the 2020 decennial census.