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Federal Judge Blocks Efforts to Shorten Census Timeline

SAN JOSE, CA—Late Saturday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order in National Urban League v. Ross against the winding down of in-person counting for the 2020 Census. The ruling comes after a challenge by the League of Women Voters of the United States and its partners, the National Urban League, Black Alliance for Immigration, Harris County, TX, the City of Los Angeles, California, City of Salinas, California, City of San Jose, California, and Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia of the Harris County Commissioners Court, against the federal government’s action to disregard the impact of COVID-19 by maintaining the counting deadline as September 30 after the Census Bureau requested more time. League of Women Voters of the United States CEO Virginia Kase issued this statement in response: 

“We are pleased the court sees the shortened Census timeline for what it is: a blatant attempt to force an undercount and jeopardize critical federal funding and accurate representative districts. The League joined this lawsuit because we have seen the adverse impact COVID-19 has had on Census counting efforts in communities around the country. Our Census administrators need this extra time to complete their work. 

“Americans depend on an accurate decennial enumeration to help businesses plan where to build factories, direct federal funding to critical infrastructure like roads and public transportation, deliver vital resources to hospitals and schools, and to form the basis for our representative democracy. 

“Census workers are doing all they can to include hard-to-count communities in these last few months. These are communities who are traditionally underserved and overlooked when it comes to vital government resources: communities of color, immigrant communities, people with disabilities, seniors, and those whose first language is not English.  

“Our democracy depends on the full enumeration of all people living in our country. That’s why the Census is enshrined in our Constitution. Disrupting an accurate count in some communities harms all communities. We’re gratified that today’s order means efforts to wind down in-person counting will cease for now, and the League will continue our efforts to get out the count all around the country.”

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PRESS CONTACT: Kayla Vix | 202-809-9668 | [email protected]