August 05, 2020

Manchin: Asinine Decision To Shorten 2020 Census Leaves West Virginians Behind

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement on the U.S. Census Bureau decision to move the deadline to respond from October 31st to September 30th, an entire month earlier than previously decided.

“It makes no sense that the U.S. Census Bureau is hindering extra efforts to help every American respond to the Census by making the asinine decision to move up the Census response deadline by an entire month in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting response rates and outreach across the country. In West Virginia, only 54.6% of West Virginians have completed the Census, the third lowest response rate in the country, putting us far behind the rest of the nation in being counted. That will have a serious impact on our state for years to come. West Virginia relies more on Census-directed funding than almost any other state, and every West Virginian who doesn’t complete the Census represents $20,000 over the course of ten years in lost funding for schools, roads, and other essential services. The extra month is vital to an accurate count since many door-knocking programs and other in-person outreach efforts – which are vital to counting our hard-to-reach rural areas – were halted due to the pandemic. This change hurts West Virginia, and I will be asking the Census Bureau to reverse their decision and give every West Virginian and American the chance to be counted.”