MONTANA – The Montana Department of Commerce and the State Complete Count Committee are urging every Montanan to respond to the 2020 Census before the end of the day on Thursday, October 15.

Action from the Supreme Court yesterday allowed the U.S. Census Bureau to suspend its 2020 Census counting operations before October 31. The U.S. Census Bureau announced last night it will end door-to-door counting operations by the end of the day on Thursday, October 15, and also cut off the option for people to self-respond online and by phone.

Responding to the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 this spring, the U.S. Census Bureau set October 31 as the deadline for the 2020 Census. The Bureau later reversed course and cut short the deadline, spurring two months of court battles to extend the count.

“The 2020 Census has been thrown into chaos by a global pandemic and near-constant operating changes from the federal government,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, who is the chairman of the Montana Complete Count Committee“Unfortunately, what this means for Montana is that we’re looking at an undercount, putting at risk our state’s fair share of federal funding for the next decade and accurate representation of Montanans in every level of government. This appears to be it – the last chance to make it count for Montana in the 2020 Census, so it’s critical to respond today if you haven’t already.”

To date, 60.3 percent of Montana households have self-responded to the Census, which is below the national average of 66.8 percent, and puts Montana among the bottom of states in self-responding to the Census.

The Census count is used to determine the amount of federal funding distributed to the state – overall, more than $2 billion from more than 300 federal programs is allocated back to Montana based on Census information. Census data is also used to shape local voting and school districts and will determine whether Montana will regain a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Montanans who have not yet done so should respond to the 2020 Census now at MY2020CENSUS.GOV or by calling 1-844-330-2020.

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