New Mexico governor wants longer Census count if Biden wins

New Mexico

FILE – In this July 2, 2018 file photo, New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham talks about efforts to secure federal funding for a planned multimillion-dollar building for the National Nuclear Security Administration during a groundbreaking ceremony in Albuquerque, N.M. Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce owns companies that actively lease oilfield equipment even as he campaigns to regulate evenhandedly a booming petroleum sector and expand an oil-dependent economy. Both candidates are campaigning on plans to diversify the state economy and move New Mexico away from energy’s boom-and-bust cycles. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says that states may push for a special U.S. Census enrollment period next year if President Donald Trump leaves the White House.

The comments came at a recent meeting of the governor’s advisory council on racial injustice. A new council meeting was scheduled Wednesday by videoconference and past meetings have been made available online.

“Should there be a change in the White House I would expect that the National Governors Association asks the Biden White House to have a special Census enrollment period, like re-enrollment period, like they do for Medicare when things don’t quite work out right,” said Lujan Grisham, an executive committee member at the association.

A federal judge is weighing whether the 2020 Census count will end early on Sept. 30 or continue through the original Oct. 31 deadline. A coalition of cities and civil rights groups argues that ending the census early will lead to an inaccurate count that overlooks minority communities.

About 41% of New Mexico residents live in hard-to-count areas — the largest proportion of any state in the nation, an Associated Press analysis of government data found.

Lujan Grisham said her office has received complaints that Census trackers are confirming participation and not seeking out unregistered households.

“They have no interest in doing it right, it is a shameful trick in my estimation by the current administration to undercount states, particularly … poor states, Democratic states,” Lujan Grisham said.

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