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Extend census count

As required by the Constitution, every ten years, the people living in the United States are counted so that federal, state, and local electoral districts can be apportioned. These will exist until the next recount ten years later. The count is also used to allocate federal funds for many programs such as Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, highway funds and many more. This is a Census year.

West Virginia has a large elderly and poor population. Many of the people live in isolated rural areas and are hard to count. West Virginia needs a complete count to receive maximum funding for federal programs that assist the people of the state.

COVID-19 has caused havoc with the Census. It greatly delayed the start of the door knocker program that contacts people who have not submitted their Census information voluntarily. Trump has shortened the data collection period for the Census. Both door knocker and voluntary submissions end on Sept. 30. This will make the count inaccurate and incomplete.

As of early August, about 63 percent of the households in the U.S. have been counted. Unless the counting percentage increases quickly in the next month and a half, Trump may report that the U.S. has fewer people than ten years ago.

There are several ways to obtain a complete and accurate count:

The door knockers can perform a miracle and count more people than expected and people can unexpectedly submit their data voluntarily.

Community agencies can develop creative voluntary ways to get people counted.

Citizens and businesses can pressure Congress or the President to extend the counting period.

After the count has been completed court cases can be filed alleging the count was conducted improperly.

Wouldn’t it be simpler to extend the Census and do the job properly in spite of it being hampered by COVID-19?

Otherwise Trump will be the first President to report that the population of the USA has experienced negative growth in the last ten years. He can declare that he has achieved MAGA– Minimizing America’s Growth Astonishingly.

Judith Peascoe

Vienna

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