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As 2020 Census Ends, Federal Officials Claim '99.9' Percent Completion -- But There Are Many Questions

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The 2020 Census is set to end today, after a months-long legal battle over the end date for the decennial count. If you’ve been putting off filling out a census form, there are now only hours left to do it -- over the internet, phone or by mail.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the Oct. 15 deadline on Tuesday, hours after the Supreme Court allowed the bureau to end the count sooner than the Oct. 31 date ordered by a lower court. Internet self-response is now set to end tonight at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time, according to the bureau. Paper census forms must be postmarked by end of day Thursday, and phone responses and door-knocking are also set to end.

The Census Bureau says most U.S. households have already been counted, issuing a press release claiming a 99.9% completion rate across the country.

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But that’s not the whole story.

To begin with, “completion” of a case in census terms doesn’t necessarily mean someone responded to the count -- because enumerators are allowed to take shortcuts.

In hard-to-count Los Angeles, there are fears of an undercount as the census winds down.

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What's at stake for Southern California in the 2020 Census? Billions of dollars in federal funding for services like health care, public education, even disaster planning. Political representation in Sacramento and D.C. A census undercount could cut critical resources in L.A. County, home to the largest hard-to-count population in the nation.