WASHINGTON D.C. – The White House has asked to delay census deadlines in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decennial count helps distribute federal funds and determine congressional districts. The Census Bureau was scheduled to deliver counts to the President and Congress by December.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney said administration officials were asking that all census field operations be postponed until June 1 and that the deadline for wrapping up the nation’s headcount be pushed back until Oct. 31, according to the Associated Press. The deadline for finishing the headcount had already been pushed back from the end of July to mid-August because of the pandemic.
The bureau was initially scheduled to send redistricting counts to the states by March 31, 2021. The Trump administration is asking that this data be turned in by next July.
The Census Bureau suspended field operations in mid-March to take protective measures against the virus. U.S. Census Spokesperson Greg Engle has previously told News 6 that this suspension could result in undercounted communities.
Though the COVID-19 outbreak has derailed the initial census timetable, Engle added that census workers and the bureau will work to make sure there is an accurate count.
The Census Bureau says the requested delays will be used to make sure as many people complete the survey as possible.