The Census Bureau has identified issues in the data from the 2020 decennial census that will take an additional 20 days or so for it to fix, and thus delay the release of survey’s apportionment data until after President Trump leaves office, TPM has learned.
According to a person inside the Census Bureau, the additional time it will take to reprocess the data in question has pushed back the target date for release of the state population counts until Jan. 26 – Feb. 6.
That would mean President-elect Joe Biden will be in the White House when the Census Bureau delivers to him the numbers for him to transmit to Congress for the purposes of determining how many House seats each state will get for the next decade.
President Trump had been seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from that count, with a policy that several lower courts have deemed illegal in rulings Trump is hoping the Supreme Court will overturn. Excluding undocumented immigrants from that count would decrease the House seats given to immigrant-rich states like California, and increase the representation for whiter, more Republican parts of the country.
The issues that the Census Bureau has identified in the data are standard for any census, the source told TPM, and it is routine for the Census Bureau to have to do this kind of reprocessing.
Shortly after this story was published, Census Director Steve Dillingham confirmed the “anomalies” in a statement to TPM that made no explicit mention of how fixing them will impact the timeline for releasing the data.
“During post-collection processing, certain processing anomalies have been discovered. These types of processing anomalies have occurred in past censuses. I am directing the Census Bureau to utilize all resources available to resolve this as expeditiously as possible. As it has been all along, our goal remains an accurate and statistically sound Census,” Dillingham said.
I don’t know if that puts an end to the ongoing Census shenanigans, but anything that takes the process out of the Trump administration’s hands is a good thing.