Federal judge rules to extend 2020 census through October, Alabama continues to lack in participation

Alabama News

This Sunday, April 5, 2020, letter shows a Census form mailed to a resident in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On the grounds that a shortened schedule could produce inaccurate census results, a federal judge in California has ruled to stop the 2020 census from concluding at the end of September.

This comes after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh heard arguments from the U.S. Census Bureau, civil rights attorneys, and local governments that had sued the census bureau.

Koh ruled a shortened schedule would likely skew the results in the census.

City of Madison Mayor Paul Finley said Wednesday, Alabama’s community response is around 62 percent statewide.

“Decatur’s up to 70.7 percent, Huntsville’s up to 72.2 percent, Madison county is up to 75.5 percent, and Madison city is at 81.3 percent.”

And while those averages have somewhat increased since Wednesday, Finley said more participation is needed.

“None of those are at 100 percent,” he explained. “That’s we need in this community, for every person and every household to be counted.”

The census is used to determine the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funds, as well as how many congressional seats each state receives.

“It is what we have when it comes to federal monies that are available for multitudes of different funding sources whether it be roads, schools, government,” Finley added. “And as importantly, representation in Washington.”

U.S. government attorneys argued the census had to conclude at the end of the month to meet a December 31 deadline for determining the congressional seats.

Judge Koh’s preliminary order suspends the December 31 deadline as well.

Attorneys for the census bureau said during the hearing they would likely appeal the judge’s decision.