The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Lily Martin
Staff writer 

Supreme Court puts census deadline in flux


Last updated 10/13/2020 at 5:09pm

The 2020 Census deadline is in flux, with the Supreme Court on Tuesday suspending a lower court order that allowed the count to be extended to Oct. 31.

Meanwhile, recent numbers show that some local municipalities are reporting some numbers better and others worse than the 2010 effort.

According to data sent by Paige Best, the New Mexico Census Coordinator, Saturday showed Curry County at a 55.8% self-response rate. This means that over 13,000 of their estimated 22,000 households have filled out the Census. The county's goal is to reach its 2010 self-response rate of 58.7%, meaning it has 690 households to go.

“When it shows that we're 690 away from reaching our goal,” Curry Census Coordinator Nikki Lovett said, “that is the self-response goal. There is still a number for the houses that were enumerated, where people went door-to-door. Supposedly, as of the 11th (of October), the total number of houses enumerated is closer to 99.8%. So when they put all of that together then we are much closer as a whole to what our goal is. So I would hope that we could reach our goal of 58.7%.”

The only Curry County municipality that has met its 2010 self-response rate is the city of Clovis. It is currently reporting in at over 60% while its 2010 self-response rate was 50.8%.

Texico, Melrose, and Grady are all behind their 2010 outcomes. In the last census Texico had a 56.6% self-response rate while it is now only participating at just over 46%. Grady falls even further behind at just 47.5% compared to its previous 65.7%.

Melrose has the lowest self-response rate and biggest decrease from the 2010 records. It is now at just 32.5%. In 2010 they had the second highest self-response rate in the county at 59.5%.

“I've worked with their (school) superintendent, Brian Stacy, and I've worked with their mayor,” Lovett said. “We've taken gift cards over there, we've taken yard signs over. I know Mr. Stacy has done the text blast around their schools. I don't know what the issue is as a whole.”

Lovett said she wasn’t sure if politicization has played any role in lowered response rates.

“ know there are some people who are just thinking that the government is getting too nosey or this is giving them too much information,” Lovett said. “Unfortunately what they're not realizing, the people that are thinking that, is this isn't any information that can hurt them. It can only help.”

Lovett added the information from the Census is used to calculate the amount of funding granted to road construction, healthcare, and federal programs for children and the elderly.

The same data from Thursday for Roosevelt County shows a 54% self-response rate with over 5,000 households participating out of their estimated 9,000 households. In 2010 the County's self-response rate was 59.4%, leaving 509 households left to meet their goal.

Data for individual municipalities within Roosevelt County was not provided by county administration.


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