Census mails out more notices, judge tosses lawsuit by group

The U.S. Census Bureau has mailed out a second round of notices reminding people that they can participate in the 2020 census

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The U.S. Census Bureau has mailed out a second round of notices reminding people to participate in the 2020 census, officials said Tuesday.

The bureau also said it now has more than 37,000 temporary workers and hopes to hire as many as 500,000 temporary workers to help with its once-a-decade head count.

Bureau officials said last week they may hire even more to make up for lost time due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Census Bureau last week suspended field operations until the start of April, and pushed back the deadline for finishing the count by two weeks to mid-August.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in New York has tossed out a lawsuit from an advocacy group and a small New York city that argued the Census Bureau wasn't devoting enough resources to the 2020 count.

The lawsuit from the Center for Popular Democracy Action and the City of Newburgh accused the Census Bureau of reducing staffing and offices for the 2020 census compared to earlier counts. The lawsuit demanded that the agency spend more money, arguing not doing so would result in an undercount of minority groups.

This is the first year that the Census Bureau is encouraging most people to answer the census questionnaire online, reducing the need for as many census-takers as in years past, the Census Bureau has said. People can also respond by telephone or by mailing back forms.

Most of the census takers won't be sent out until late May to knock on doors of homes where people haven't yet responded to the questionnaire.

In an order last week, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein sided with the Census Bureau's request to dismiss the case.