Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) recently led two letters with his Senate colleagues in calling for the reversal of the 2020 Census response deadline change and urging the inclusion of a Census deadline extension in the next COVID-19 relief package. Last week, Senator Manchin called the decision to shorten the Census response period by an entire month asinine and urged the U.S. Census Bureau to reverse their decision which will negatively impact states with low response rates like West Virginia.
“Every West Virginian who doesn’t complete the Census represents $20,000 lost over the next ten years and as of today, only 55 percent of West Virginians have completed the Census. We also rely on Census-directed funding more than almost any other state to help our schools, roads, and other essential services. The U.S. Census Bureau decision last week to shorten the Census response deadline by an entire month hurts West Virginians, and I will not stand by without fighting to reverse this decision. My colleagues and I sent two letters urging the Census Bureau to reverse their decision and to include a response deadline extension in the next COVID-19 relief package. It makes no sense that in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau would cut the response period, ensuring many West Virginians will not have the chance to be counted. It is just simply unacceptable,” said Senator Manchin.
As a result of the new September 30th deadline, there are only 50 days left for Census door knockers to go door-to-door to collect responses from 45 percent of West Virginians who didn’t self-respond. This decision negatively affects states like West Virginia who have low response rates and would have greatly benefitted from an extra month of collecting responses.
Read the letter to the Administration on reversing their decision here.
Read the letter on including a Census reporting deadline extension in the next relief package here.