U.S. Census 2020

The deadline to complete the 2020 Census been extended to Oct. 31.

The preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California late Thursday allows the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident to continue through the end of October.

Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by President Donald Trump’s administration likely would produce inaccurate results that would last a decade.

The judge sided with civil rights groups and local governments that sued the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the statistical agency, arguing that minorities and others in hard-to-count communities would be missed if the counting ends this month.

“The census extension is out of concern of properly counting the hard to count individuals,” Count Floyd County Committee Chair Braden Keith said. “We’d like to use this extension as an opportunity to continue encouraging everyone to talk to their neighbors and ensure everyone in our community is counted.”

According to the self-response rate map on the Census Bureau’s website, Georgia has 61.9% response rate. Floyd County currently has a self-response rate of 63.6%.

During the Floyd County Commission caucus on Tuesday, Keith talked about how in 2010, the county had a total response rate of around 70% and believed that they would get about this in 2020 as well.

“Floyd County continues to lead the Georgia average in responses, and I’d love for us to extend our lead,” Keith said. “Let’s show our surrounding counties that Floyd County sees the value in the census.”

Koh said inaccuracies produced from a shortened schedule would affect the distribution of federal funding and political representation over the next 10 years. The census is used to determine how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year and how many congressional seats each state gets.

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, around the same time the census started for most U.S. residents, including those in Georgia and Floyd County, the bureau had planned to complete the 2020 census by the end of July.

To complete the Census, you can go online to 2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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