September 8, 2020; Washington Post (Associated Press)
The US Constitution requires a census of this country’s population every 10 years so the principle of democratic representation can be observed. But this year, as the country struggles through the pandemic, the Trump administration has contracted the time for face-to-face data collection by an entire month, thus virtually ensuring the count will be off to what James Tucker, vice chair of the US Census National Advisory Committee, calls a potentially historic degree.
What’s more, the miscount will be proportionately larger in communities of color, especially American Indians on lands governed by tribal nations. And, as mentioned, this inaccuracy affect their region’s representation in Congress and access to federal resources.
As NPQ has covered, the census count deadline was moved from October 31st to September 30th despite the fact that the pandemic has interrupted normal community functions and made it difficult to do the face-to-face collections necessary