The Census 2020 effort came to an abrupt halt on Friday, Oct. 16, as the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Trump Administration in Washington, D.C., about not extending the Census through Oct. 31.
The Trump Administration and Census folks had said they need time to crunch the numbers nationally through the fall in order to have the final numbers on President Donald Trump’s desk by Dec. 31, as required Constitutionally. However, a series of court rulings had extended it to Oct. 31 from Sept. 25. After an appeal to the Supreme Court, the Census was ended on Friday.
City Clerk Sergio Cornelio said the counts were likely going to remain unchanged from the 2010 numbers, which was a letdown due to the fact many believe Everett is chronically undercounted on paper and likely has just north of 60,000 people in real terms.
Given the limitations of COVID-19, Cornelio said they felt like they did as best they could.
“We didn’t quite hit a 60 percent participation rate in Everett; we were just shy at 58 or 59 percent,” he said. “It wasn’t possible to hit our goal. We wanted 70-plus percent participation at least. That was my initial hope in January, but once COVID-19 hit, it was difficult. To be pretty close to what we did last time around wasn’t terrible. Sadly, we didn’t have a lot of options.”
Typically, the US Census kicks off in February every 10 years, and residents have until early April to fill out the forms. This year was the first time ever that the Census had moved to an online option. Usually, in the summer months official counters move through the community to try to get those who didn’t fill out the Census to do so by visiting in person before the effort ends in July. That schedule got rearranged due to COVID-19, and the new end date became Sept. 25. Further complications to count people, especially in urban areas like Everett, led to a fight for a one-month extension, which was ultimately refused.
The local Census 2020 effort is now brought to a close and all of the information gathered has been forwarded to the Census Bureau. The official counts are likely to be revealed in Everett sometime in January or February.