Some initial results of the 2020 Census show growth in parts of North Carolina.

Durrell Johnson, director of communications and outreach for the NC Counts Coalition talks with host Stephanie Carson about the importance of an accurate count in the 2020 Census.

They discuss changes in the Census in this cycle, as well as conflicting and changing information from the current administration.

On Aug. 3, the United States Census Bureau announced that the deadline to return Census forms has been changed once again again. Due to COVID-19, the deadline was initially pushed back to Oct. 31. now the forms are due by Sept. 30.

In a statement the latest updates to the bureau’s plans are part of efforts to “accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of Dec. 31, 2020, as required by law and directed by the secretary of commerce, who oversees the bureau.”

Those involved in ensuring an accurate census count are concerned about this latest change – when it’s estimated that 4 out of 10 people have yet to fill out their form.

Also causing confusion, a directive from the Trump administration in late July instructing the U.S. Census Bureau not to count undocumented immigrants in the 2020 count.

For some perspective – the U.S. has long counted noncitizens, regardless of their immigration status, for the purposes of congressional apportionment. The Constitution says each state must have at least one representative, and the apportionment of others should be based on an enumeration of the population. President Trump’s directive is now facing several legal challenges.

If you haven’t filled out your Census form online, you can go to this link. Census employees are also going door to door encouraging people to fill out the Census.

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Stephanie Carson is the former news and community partnerships manager at Carolina Public Press.