Federal judge throws out early Census deadline

A federal judge has rejected a Trump Administration effort to end the 2020 Census a month early.

The Administration announced in August it was moving the national count deadline up one month to September 30 to give the government time to deliver the 2020 data to the President by the end of December as required by law. The Census has been plagued by delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes, and political conflict.

Judge Lucy H. Koh said late Thursday the scheduled completion date of October 31 should stand. She also directed the final count be delivered by April 2021 rather than December 31 because of the high risk of a flawed count.

The Census takes place every ten years. Based on population, Kansas receives approximately $6 billion annually though many different federal programs, such as Title 1, Special Education funding, school lunch programs and more. Every uncounted person costs the state of Kansas approximately $2,082 per year in federal funds. 

The Census also determines how many U.S. House members each state will have and the boundaries of U.S. House, state legislative and local voting districts.  

KASB, the League of Kansas Municipalities, and other groups have worked since last April to encourage Kansas to complete the 2020 Census. The current overall Kansas response rate is pegged at 99 percent, but some rural communities and areas with hard-to-reach populations remain undercounted.



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