Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex, Morris) after writing to New Jersey’s congressional delegation on Thursday, seeking federal action in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to cut census count efforts four weeks short, released the following statement:
“To date New Jersey’s 2020 Census response rate stands at 65 percent. Now just three weeks out from the census count deadline that was cut short, our chance of reaching our hard-to-count populations for a complete and accurate count has been put in greater jeopardy.
“For New Jersey communities and communities across the country this is of incredible consequence. Those historically undercounted – people of color, immigrants, families in rural communities, children – would yet again go uncounted for another decade. As a State, we then stand to lose billions of dollars in critical funding for our schools, our roads, hospitals and other vital infrastructure.
“In the midst of a pandemic that continues to take lives and devastate people’s livelihoods, we need more time and we need more latitude. Getting a complete and accurate count, and being able to do it safely, is now more crucial than ever.”
In his letter, McKeon writes:
“Obtaining an accurate census count is paramount and should be nonpartisan. Article I, Section 2, of our Constitution requires the Census to count all the persons living in the United States every ten years. The Census Bureau must do everything in its power to ensure that all populations are recorded accurately without regard to artificial time constraints that will surely result in an inaccurate count.
“I respectfully request that you exercise your considerable influence to delay the December 31, 2020 deadline requiring the Census Bureau to present the completed census results to the President of the United States.”