Ending the Census early could have huge political consequences

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After requesting an extension in April, the U.S. Census Bureau is now reversing course and saying it will end its count a month early, even as response rates are the lowest they’ve ever been in recent history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented move comes right at the time that census workers are usually preparing to count traditionally undercounted segments of the population - including people who are homeless, people who are low-income, immigrants and speakers of languages other than English. Leaving them out of the census would have major implications for community services, elections and political representation.