Gov. Walz asks Census Bureau to extend response deadline to original date

Minnesota’s Governor is asking the U.S. Census Bureau to extend the response period to Oct. 31 as originally planned after the bureau decided to end the response period early.

Gov. Tim Walz called the change “last-minute” and said it threatens the accuracy of the count, which is used to determine the number of members of congress and federal funding for the next decade for each state.

The decision, made in early August, ends the Census response period Sept. 30. Walz wrote an open letter to the bureau to express his deep concern over the change.

The Governor said the Oct. 31 date still fulfills the constitutional obligation to conduct a census in a way that does not jeopardize the public health.

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said Minnesota has one of the highest Census response rates every decade, but that ending the response period early risks an undercount, especially in Black, Native American, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, renters and children under five.

“At a time when resources and representation are critically important, we can’t afford to miss anyone,” Flanagan said. “We need to tell the full story of Minnesota.”