BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City officials say they have had a 56.7% response rate for the 2020 Census ahead of Friday morning’s deadline.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week the Trump administration can end Census field operations early and the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would stop at 11:59 p.m. Thursday Hawaii time—or 5:59 a.m. EDT locally.

“We’re urging people to get that done before they go to bed tonight because we’re not certain you’re going to wake up early enough to beat that timeline,” Baltimore City Assistant Director of Planning Stephanie Smith said. “There are people who just didn’t get around to it and those are the people we’re really trying to make sure we push along.”

The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to count every person in the country. It decides Congressional seats and how federal money is allocated.

“Our roads and our bridges, our hospitals, health care systems, our libraries, our schools, our emergency and safety services,” U.S. Census Bureau representative Susan Licate said. “The U.S. Census is not Democrat, Republican or even Independent. It’s a way for everybody to uphold the U.S. Constitution and be counted.”

Licate said the Census is secure and information is not shared with any other agency.

“Not with ICE, child support, child services, Zoning, the FBI, the IRS,” Licate said.

Baltimore City says it has focused efforts for weeks in areas with low response rates, but the city has surpassed its 2010 response rate.

“Baltimore has a lot of needs and wants to make sure we get our fair share of federal resources at a time such as this, Smith said.

To respond to the 2020 Census, go to my2020census.gov or English speakers can call (844) 330-2020. Spanish speakers can complete the Census by phone at (844) 468-2020.

Paul Gessler

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