New Yorkers — and all Americans — have just one more day to fill out their Census survey after the Supreme Court approved its early termination in a ruling yesterday.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of President Donald Trump Tuesday and allowed the administration to cut the count early, before its original Oct. 31 end date. The Court approved an emergency request from the Justice Department to suspend a lower court decision that extended the Census count through the end of the month.
Hours after the court decision was announced, the Census Bureau said it would continue accepting responses on its website through tomorrow until 11:59 p.m. Hawaii time — or 5:59 a.m. Thursday in New York.
The bureau will also cease door knocking and collecting phone responses after tomorrow, it said in a statement. Mailed Census responses must be postmarked by Oct. 15 as well.
Concerned citizens worry that the cutting the Census short will mean not every person will be rightfully counted, which could hurt local communities for years to come.
Many activists and groups denounced the court decision.
“The Supreme Court’s stay is a grave mistake that now allows the Trump administration to recklessly end the census count tomorrow night,” said Theo Oshiro, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York, an immigrant advocacy group. “The administration’s plan to shorten the Census count is an attempt to shortchange our communities—the same communities hardest hit by the pandemic—of resources.”
Low-income, minority and immigrant areas often have lower Census response rates and are undercounted and underrepresented as a result.
Census results determine how much federal funding for public education, affordable housing and infrastructure that states and localities receive. They also determine how many representatives each state will have in Congress for the next 10 years.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he thought the Supreme Court decision was unfair and makes no sense to him during a morning press briefing today.
“I think with so much that’s happened with this pandemic, with so much need to get the truth out about the people of this city, of this country and count everyone, it made no sense to cut the count short,” he said.
He reminded New Yorkers that billions of dollars and the amount of representation in Congress is at stake.
According to Census Bureau data, 61.4 percent of New York City residents have filled out their census online or by mail or phone — compared to the statewide self response rate of 63.9 percent which lags behind the national rate of 66.8 percent.
In Queens, 62.3 percent of residents have filled out their Census.
“This is literally the last chance — if you haven’t filled out the census, do it now,” de Blasio said. “This could make a huge difference for the city.”
The Census takes about 10 minutes or less to fill out. Residents can fill it out online at my2020census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020.