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A Joe Biden supporter holds up a phone displaying the Electoral College map in Philadelphia on Nov. 7.
The Census Is Not Over: What’s Ahead During The Biden Transition
Beginning in May, career officials at the bureau gave early warning they could no longer deliver the state numbers by year’s end because of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, a month earlier in April, the Trump administration asked Congress to extend the census reporting deadlines by four months — a proposal that has been picked up by House Democrats and a small bipartisan group of senators but has yet to become a law.
The administration, however, made an about-face in July. It began pressuring the bureau to stick with the Dec. 31 deadline after Trump issued a presidential memo calling for the removal of unauthorized immigrants from the census numbers used to reallocate the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, as well as electoral votes in presidential elections, among the states.
Can President-Elect Biden Redo The 2020 Census? It’s Complicated
Trump would need to receive the numbers before his term ends on Jan. 20 to try to alter the numbers he’s required to hand off to Congress for certification.
The bureau’s public information office has not responded to NPR’s questions about the current timing of the release of the first set of numbers.
But Al Fontenot, the bureau’s top career official in charge of this year’s count, softened the ground last month by confirming that the bureau may not be able to deliver the results by the end of December.
«It is our plan right now that if we need more time to fix a problem that comes up that would impact the quality of census, we’re taking it,» Fontenot said during an Oct. 21 press briefing.
2nd Court Blocks Trump’s Push To Alter Census Ahead Of Supreme Court Review
How Trump Officials Cut The 2020 Census Short Amid The Pandemic
The bureau’s announcement about irregularities in the data comes just over a week before the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on Nov. 30 over Trump’s attempt to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the census apportionment counts.
Three-judge panels in three lower courts have unanimously declared Trump’s memo to be unlawful and in violation of a federal law requiring the president to deliver a report to Congress of «the whole number of persons in each State» as determined by the once-a-decade count, while one of the courts also found the memo to be unconstitutional.
- 2020 Census
- Electoral College
- Census Bureau