Federal Judge Extends 2020 US Census Deadline to End of October

Communities in northern Michigan now have an additional month to collect responses for the 2020 US Census.

A federal judge recently extended the 2020 US census deadline until the end of October.

“It should make a difference, at least get that last push,” says Pam O’Loughlin, director of business services, economic development in Clare County.

Clare County Commissioners designated O’Laughlin as the county’s census count coordinator. She says the response rate for the 2020 US Census started out slow:

“The door knockers were a bit delayed from starting, which I think they were going to start in May. COVID had a big impact on all of this in many, many ways,” says O’Laughlin.

She says as of right now, only 47-percent of Clare County residents have responded to the census:

“Clare County has had some low numbers to begin with, from previous census, so we were just trying to get as many people responding as possible,” says O’Laughlin.

There’s a lot on the line, and more responses mean more funding for things like schools, first responders and roads.

Clare County Clerk Lori Martin says the federal funding from the census is vital:

“If they don’t do it then the money, it’s just not there or to help the needs in our county and we have great needs in our county,” says Martin.

Now with the extended deadline, Martin expects the response rate to grow:

“It will help greatly. It will give us a chance to get out there and hit places that weren’t able to be reached yet and help us to get more accurate data for reporting on the census.”

Because O’Laughlin says just one additional response could bring nearly 20,000 dollars to Clare County over the next 10 years.

“It really, really is a very, very important piece of being an American and it brings federal dollars back to our community, so why not participate,” says O’Laughlin.

To complete the 2020 census, click here.