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Census Bureau must finish the count properly

Influence and money are at stake

The U.S. Census Bureau needs to do one thing at this time in the nation’s history: keep on counting.

It needs to keep counting every man, woman and child in the country up until an Oct. 31 deadline.

That seems like a no-brainer for the agency charged with carrying out the national headcount every 10 years. But this year, the census got tangled up in the pandemic and politics. As a result, it ended up in the federal courts. A U.S. District Court judge and a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have both ruled that the count should continue through October.

That is the right decision and we call on the federal government to comply with it rather than fight it.

In our American system, much depends on an accurate census. That’s why time must be taken to get it right.

Influence and money are at stake.

The number of members each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives is based on the census.

Seats in state legislatures are apportioned based on census results.

Gasoline tax revenue, which pays for road maintenance and snow removal, is divided between communities based on their populations.

About $1.5 trillion in federal funding awarded to states and communities is distributed based on population.

For all those reasons, it is essential to take the time to do a thorough census.

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