Congressman Keller says 2020 Census is on track, encourages participation during Congressional hearing
Washington, D.C. – During Thursday’s House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on “Providing the Census Bureau with the Time to Produce a Complete and Accurate Census,” Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) dispelled the false narrative that the Census Bureau will not complete field operations under the current deadline of September 30, 2020.
Congressman Keller noted that according to the Census Bureau, nearly 90 percent of housing units have been enumerated nationwide, including 91 percent in Pennsylvania, leaving the rest of September to collect the remaining data.
In a question posed to Hans Von Spakovsky, Manager of the Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Congressman Keller asked what these figures mean in terms of the population of the country that has been counted.
“They are referring to households, whether they’re living in a single-family residences, or whether they are living in an apartment, or condominium, or something like that,” said Mr. Spakovsky.
Mr. Spakovsky also clarified the impact apportionment would have on the total census count.
“There seems to be some confusion about that,” said Mr. Spakovsky. “The population that is used for apportionment is not necessarily the same total population counted by the U.S. Census Bureau.”
Congressman Keller also dialed in on the use of technology to obtain an accurate count of people living in rural America.
“The area I represent in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would, by Census standards, be considered ‘hard to count,’” Congressman Keller said. “I understand that technology has played a big part in the 2020 Census, even in rural communities like mine.”
Specifically, Congressman Keller asked Chris Mihm, Managing Director of the Government Accountability Office’s Strategic Issues team, what steps the Census Bureau has taken to reach rural communities and ensure they are equally represented in Congress.
“There’s good use of technology at two levels: One is part of the original enumeration that is allowing the internet option this time around which has certainly, overall, been a very positive story that tens of millions of Americans, certainly myself included, use,” said Mr. Mihm. “The enumerators don’t have the old registers that they had in the past. This allows them to collect the data and get it into the system immediately and allows easier tracking of census taker productivity.”
Congressman Keller issued the following statement:
“Today’s hearing reaffirmed my confidence that the 2020 Census will be timely and accurate under the current timeline. It’s very important that everyone is counted across Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District and across our nation so that there is equal representation in Congress and a fair distribution of federal funding to our state and local governments. At this critical time in our nation, taking the Census has never been easier or more pertinent so I encourage every Pennsylvanian to do their part to ensure our communities are fully and properly counted by the September 30, 2020 deadline.”