The Trump administration is ending the census count early. Here’s what that means for Texas

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the Trump administration can end the 2020 census count early on October 15. This will undoubtedly throw a process already complicated by the COVID-19 into even more chaos. 

The decision will have a particularly dire impact on Texas, which has seen the largest population growth of any state in recent years. A census undercount could result in the Lone Star State losing out on hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars federal funding. A study from the George Washington Institute of Public Policy found that even a one percent undercount could cost Texas $290 million over the next decade. 

Also at stake is the size of the Texas congressional delegation. Texas is projected to gain as many as three congressional seats after 2020, but an undercount could jeopardize that. This will in turn affect the number of votes Texas has in the electoral college, which is determined by the number of representatives a state has in the House plus its two senators.

Activists and policymakers have engaged in a mad dash in recent weeks to make sure everyone is counted. But Texas’ response rate remains below the national average at 62.6 percent.

Photo: Bill Oxford/Getty Images

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