On August 3, the Census Bureau announced it would cut short its operations timeline as it works to ensure a full and complete count for everyone living in the United States. The Census Bureau previously announced it would have enumerators in the field until the end of October. Yesterday’s announcement lops an additional 30 days from their efforts to reach those in hard-to-count populations, which includes our communities of color, children under age five, low-income Oklahomans, those who are experiencing homelessness, and residents in very rural areas.
Statement from OK Policy:
A full and accurate Census count is vital for our communities to fully receive the federal dollars that rightfully should be serving Oklahomans. This decision to cut short the Census Bureau’s field efforts further diminishes the likelihood of an accurate Census count. It’s a decision that will haunt Oklahoma for the next 10 years.
Estimates show that each person not counted in the Census costs Oklahoma about $1,800 per year in lost federal funding. By these measures, an undercount of just 2 percent could cost our state up to $1.8 billion during the coming decade.
This most recent announcement is part of a continuing pattern from the current administration to exclude millions of people from the count — especially those who are hardest hit by the pandemic. The U.S. House has already agreed to extend the reporting deadline for apportionment and redistricting as part of its virus relief package, and it is now incumbent on the Senate to do the same to ensure that we have a complete count of everyone living in the U.S.
We encourage everyone living in Oklahoma to complete their confidential Census response either online or by phone, if they have not already done so, before September 30. Learn more at TogetherOK.org/census.
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Actions you can take to support a full and accurate Census count:
- Contact Sen. Inhofe and Sen. Lankford to request that Congress extend the statutory deadlines for reporting apportionment and redistricting data from the 2020 Census.
- Join a Census Project sign-on letter: Individuals or organizations (national, state or local) can sign on to this national letter from the Census Project by completing this form. Signatures are being accepted until 4 p.m., Wednesday, August 5.
- Sign up for TogetherOK.org advocacy alerts or join your local Together Oklahoma chapter.