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What’s up with the census? | Thursday Morning Coffee

December 10, 2020 6:30 am

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Good morning, fellow seekers.

Like everything in 2020, the decennial census count was, shall we say, thrown into disarray.

The COVID-19 pandemic began during the first few weeks of the census count, complicating efforts across the country.

In the months following its kickoff, the pandemic continued, there were legal challenges, and, oh yeah, a presidential election. 

So where is the census count now?

Internal documents released last week by the House Oversight and Reform Committee showed that the 2020 count was far more problematic than originally thought, NPR reported.

The documents called attention to errors in more than 900,000 records nationally. While the errors themselves vary, the consequences are myriad.

One of the most obvious potential consequences of the errors is the need to delay final tabulations, resulting in the Census Bureau possibly missing its Dec. 31 deadline. 

Due to the delay, there may also be a delay in the reapportionment of Congressional seats. For states such as Pennsylvania that are expected to lose one or more seats this count, an error in either direction can result in a consequential change.

If the Census Bureau cannot deliver a final count before Jan. 20 President-elect Joe Biden would oversee the distribution of the results.

The Bureau has previously said that the timeline for completing the final tabulations “remains in flux,” adding that  “anomalies” affect less than one percent of the records collected.

Our Stuff.

From Stephen Caruso: Pa. appeals court has dismissed a GOP lawmaker suit challenging the presidential election results as state meets safe harbor deadline.

ICYMI: Gov. Tom Wolf has tested positive for COVID-19, Stephen Caruso reports along with Berks County Rep. Barry Jozwiak.

Our partners at the Uniontown Herald-Standard share the struggles of the Fayette EMS during the pandemic in the latest installment of Helping the Helpers. 

On our Commentary Page this morning, Matthew Redmond explores how Emily Dickinson is “the unlikely hero of our time,” and Ray Landis takes a second look at Pa.’s State Plan on Aging.

Elsewhere.
With COVID-19 cases surging, Lehigh Valley schools weigh their optionsThe Morning Call reports. 

Sen. Bob Casey cites shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. in pushing bills to divert 911 calls for mental health crises, according the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The city of Harrisburg and the state will dish out $17,500 each to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a Dauphin County man over permission to burn flagsPennLive reports. 

Here’s your #DailyPhoto taken by yours truly
From PoliticsPA: Rep. Scott Perry is among the 27 Republicans calling for special counsel to investigate the results of the 2020 election.

Forty-eight states and territories, including Pennsylvania, have sued FacebookPOLTICO reports.

Following news that the U.K. had begun vaccinations this week, Canada approved a COVID vaccine, saying shots could begin next week, The New York Times reports. 

Watchable. 
Jumping ahead to 2021, GameSpot created this list of the biggest shows coming next year.

Heavy Rotation.
Your daily earworm today is an oldie, but goodie. For your listening pleasure, Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.”

And now you’re up to date.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.

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