Ross wrote in an email to some senior Census Bureau officials that he appreciated their “excellent briefing this afternoon,” where they were informed that as the census ends on October 5, as many as 10 states will not meet the standard for a full count.
But instead of asking about the results of the incomplete count, Ross asked about the result to continue the counting.
The email was released late Tuesday night as part of a lawsuit over the Trump administration’s efforts to end the pre-scheduled census.
The change comes as the National Urban League and other groups claiming Ross have accused him of trying to complete the census as soon as possible so that numbers can be generated during Trump’s tenure. He says the administration could allow undocumented immigrants to be excluded from the calculation used to distribute seats in Congress – the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s administration if he does not win the election and finalize the numbers under his supervision.
Prosecutors have denied the claim because it was beyond the scope of this scheduled controversy.
“As I prepare to make a decision, I want to make sure that your team’s opinion is that I have properly understood that if we remain in the field beyond 5 October, we will not be able to meet the legal deadline of 31 December. . ” Ross wrote.
Ron Jarmin, a senior census bureau official, commented that the December 31 deadline could be completed by October 5.
The states that cannot reach perfection are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina.
It could take up to Oct. 11 to bring all 50 states into the census bureau’s 99% household enumeration target, bureau officials told Ross.
The presentation said that even among the states with an expiration rate of more than 999%, there will be sub-state areas which are below 99% due to Covid-119 restrictions, especially tribal areas.
They also told Ross that ending the nationwide count on October 5 was the last possible hope to reduce the numbers by the end of this year, which Ross told them to do.
Within hours of this release, Ross settled down on October 5, internal documents show.
He and the Trump administration asked Congress for an extension due to the coronavirus epidemic that would include a response accepted by October 31.
A federal judge overseeing the proceedings has considered declaring December 31 unconstitutional.
The story and headline have been updated with new developments on the decision of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Caroline Kelly of CNN contributed to this report.