Organizations from throughout Ohio urge Congress to extend the census timeline in support of a complete and accurate count
September 1, 2020
By Katherine Ungar, JD, Policy Associate
The Ohio Census Advocacy Coalition, co-led by CDF-Ohio, and joined by 17 non-profit and advocacy partners from throughout Ohio, submitted a letter to Senator Rob Portman and Senator Sherrod Brown urging them to support legislation that would extend the census timeline by four months. This additional time is critical to ensuring Ohio’s Census Count is complete and accurate.
The process for an accurate and complete 2020 Census has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) suspended field activities and postponed key operations putting it significantly behind schedule. These very serious challenges prompted career professionals at the USCB and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to request that Congress extend the reporting deadlines. This extension is critical for USCB to deliver reliable, accurate, and complete apportionment and redistricting data to the Congress and states.
In 2017, Ohio receives an estimated $56 billion in federal funds tied to census data. The financial impact of a significant undercount could be catastrophic to things such as transportation funding, community development block grant funding, and critical human service programs that protect children – such as SCHIP, Medicaid, and Head Start. Additionally, a significant undercount in the 2020 Census combined with Ohio’s slow population growth relative to other states, will further reduce Ohio’s influence in Congress. Without a complete count, we cannot ensure that Ohioans are afforded their constitutionally guaranteed promise of adequate political representation through the subsequent redistricting cycle following the census. Read full statement here.