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Census

The U.S. Census is required under the U.S. Constitution to occur every 10 years and is the process of counting every resident in the country. For the first time ever, in 2020 the Census will be primarily digitally based.

Why it matters

The U.S. Census data is used to make decisions around education, healthcare, infrastructure, and political representation. With increased growth in the country, getting an accurate and complete count of every person living within is crucial to ensure that each state receives funding to support the number of residents in each state. This Census the focus continues to be on reaching hard to count communities and ensuring these communities get included in the Census count.

What we're doing

The League’s Census work will occur in three phases: (1) Education; (2) Get Out to Count activities, (3) Watchdog reporting. In the months leading up to Census Day—April 1, 2020—Leagues around the country will be in communities sharing information and resources about how to participate and the importance of the U.S. Census. On Census Day, the League will work in coalition to help get everyone counted, work in Complete Count Committees to share out information about low-reporting areas, and communicate where additional support is needed. Once the Census count wraps up in the Summer/Fall of 2020, the League’s will remain in communities and will watchdog any issues from the ground.

Featured Content

Census In Depth

Late Tuesday the Trump Administration announced the 2020 Census forms will be printed without a citizenship question. The announcement came days after the Supreme Court blocked the question.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled in Department of Commerce v. New York that a citizenship question in the U.S. Census report cannot proceed. LWVNY was one of the several plaintiffs.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one of the most important pieces of legislation of the 20th century. But in 2013, the Supreme Court gutted important sections of it in Shelby County v. Holder.

LWVUS joined organizations connected to the Coalition on Human Needs on a letter urging members of Congress to lift severe caps on domestic and international discretionary spending in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.

The League joined letters to the Census Project and other affiliates calling on Congress to support the funding levels for the Census Bureau appropriated in the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. 

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Department of Commerce v. New York, a case challenging the Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census short form. Learn more about the case here.

In less than one year, on April 1, 2020, the Census will be in full swing. This process of counting will ensure that the political power, health, and safety of every community is maintained or enhanced in the upcoming decade.

The League joined 178 civic organizations on an amicus brief for the census litigation case in New York.

LWVUS submitted substantive comments to the U.S.  Census Bureau on the 2020 Address Canvassing operation.

The League sent a memo to the U.S.  House regarding the citizenship question on the U.S. Census.