Democrats want the U.S. Census Bureau to keep counting past September. They say stopping any sooner will produce a larger undercount than normal of the nation’s population.

They have a point. Thanks to deportation fears and the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 headcount has not gone well. As of Tuesday, less than 90% of the nation’s households have been counted. Mississippi has done worse than average at just over 80%.

But if the Census Bureau is to complete the count by its current December deadline, it has to stop early enough to crunch all the numbers.

Congress could extend the deadline, but that would mean some things, such as apportionment of congressional seats and the drawing of new district lines, won’t happen on schedule.

It’s a problem either way.

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