HELENA — Montanans have until 4:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Friday October 16 to respond to the 2020 Census.
Anyone can go to My2020Census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020 anytime before the deadline to be counted.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a lower-court decision, which had extended the counting effort until Oct. 31.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday evening they will end door-to-door counting operations by the end of the day on Thursday, Oct. 15. They also announced they will cut off the option for people to self-respond online and by phone by midnight Hawaii Standard Time, or 4:00 a.m. on Friday Oct. 16 in Montana.
State leaders have raised concerns that the advanced deadline will lead to Montana being undercounted, which could result in less federal dollars and lose its chance to gain an additional congressional seat.
“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.”
The U.S. Census Bureau currently lists every state, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico at 99.9 percent counted when including enumerated nonresponse followup by census workers.
Montana was reporting a 89.6 percent enumerated count for households just 15 days ago, the second lowest in the nation at the time.
State Commerce Department spokeswoman Emilie Saunders told MTN Tuesday that Montana’s self-response rate is 60.3 percent, below the national average of 66.8 percent and among the lowest of the states.