August 12, 2020

Cortez Masto, Colleagues Call for Extension of Census Deadlines to Ensure a Full and Accurate Count

Senators Urge Extension Be Included In Upcoming COVID-19 Relief Package 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and 48 of their colleagues in a bipartisan manner to call for the extension of the statutory deadlines for the 2020 Census. The senators urged House and Senate leaders to include the extension in any upcoming COVID-19 relief package. 

“As you work on the next legislative package to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we strongly urge you to extend the statutory deadlines for the delivery of apportionment data and redistricting files following the 2020 census,” the senators wrote in their letter to House and Senate leaders.

Citing a request first made by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham to extend the deadlines for apportionment to April 30 and redistricting to July 31, the senators underscored the need to give the Census Bureau adequate time to collect and report an accurate count following delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The senators continued, “Extending the deadlines for the delivery of these files in the next COVID-19 relief package will ensure that the Census Bureau has adequate time to complete a full, fair, and accurate 2020 Census. It will also ensure that both the Congress and the states receive accurate data for apportionment and redistricting.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.


In March of this year, Senator Cortez Masto called on the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to put a plan in place to ensure that the expanding Coronavirus outbreak doesn’t impact the accuracy of the 2020 Census, and to make certain the health of census takers is protected. 

In July, Senator Cortez Masto cosponsored the Fair and Accurate Census Act, legislation to address the significant challenges facing the Census Bureau as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would provide requested extensions of statutory deadlines and appropriate $400 million for the Census Bureau to address the impacts of the coronavirus on the 2020 Census.