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Census counters focus on tribal, underserved communities in final days

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

PHOENIX – As the Census approaches its final days, Arizona counters are focusing on tribal and underserved communities since they may have been impacted most by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve really upped our efforts in our tribal communities, rural Arizona and among Latino Arizonans as well,” Arizona Complete Count Committee Director Alec Esteban Thompson told KTAR News 92.3 FM Wednesday.

Federal funding and congressional representation are on the line, which is why Thompson emphasized the need of an accurate count.

“We want to make sure that political representation accurately reflects the population of our state,” Thompson said.

To ensure an accurate count, some community leaders are also calling on the governor to extend the state’s counting deadline fearing those hit the most by the pandemic will be undercounted. David Lujan, Director of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, co-signed a letter asking Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to extend the deadline for counting in Arizona be extended until Oct 31.

“These past few months when normally people would be out collecting and getting the Census figures, the Census data, they haven’t been able to do that as much in places where there has been a high rate of the COVID pandemic,” Lujan said.

So far, AZCCC says 97% of Arizona’s households have been counted in the 2020 Census. The deadline to fill out the Census is October 5th.

Arizonans can fill out the Census online, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by returning their completed paper form by mail.

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