The United States Census Bureau has been ordered to continue the 2020 census until October 31, not October 5th, as we reported here last week. When it was changed from September 30th or October 31st back to October 5th, I called the Census Bureau “hotline” two days ago and asked if the last date a person could return their census was September 30, October 31st, or September 5th. The answer I got back was, “I don’t know.” I simply asked how the bureau could not know. The Census Bureau employee just kept stating, “I don’t know.” Disgusted, I sent an email to my contact at the bureau. He sent back a very nice email, and basically said, “I don’t know.” But he did promise me that I would be contacted within 24 hours by the 2020 Census partnership people. I was and they told me it is definitely October 5th. As a partner, they thanked us for keeping our community apprised of the date. But wait a minute.

I knew that the Census Bureau director was arguing with the courts about the date, but I did not know how ridiculous it had become. I was reading the factual morning news only to discover that the courts again ruled that the final date was October 31st! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the total confusion at the bureau, even though it happens all the time. And even though I had made an official inquiry, no one from the partnership office had let me know it had been changed again. I’ve lost all the little bit of confidence I’ve had left in the US Census Bureau. Done.

Susan Graham for Project RACE