The deadline for U.S. citizens to fill out the 2020 census has been extended to October 31st by a Federal Judge in California.
The ruling, issued Thursday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh for the Northern District of California requires the Census Bureau to keep trying to tally the country's residents through Oct. 31.
The new timeline hopes to account for delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The original deadline was July 31 and had been pushed back to September 30th. In July, the Census Bureau's director, Steven Dillingham said that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, had directed them to speed up all counting efforts in order to provide, by law, a report to the President by December 31st.
The census helps determine the amount of federal funds allotted to each state for various needs.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer issued the following statement in support of the ruling:
“The decision to extend the deadline for the 2020 Census to October 31 is a major win for ensuring the most accurate Census count, especially when so much is at stake for Westchester County, including both representation and the potential loss of billions of federal dollars. This funding, which is allocated based on population, can be used for our schools, infrastructure, roads, hospitals, fire departments, day cares, after school programs and more. It is understandable that our focus may have shifted over these past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is more important now than ever that everyone take a few moments to fill out their Census forms. This extension allows more time for everyone to participate.”