One-third of households in the state still need to be counted for the United States Census, according to the state's overseer of the count, which is slated to end field operations a month earlier than previously planned.
Secretary of State William Galvin said the uncounted households are disproportionately in urban areas. Census workers originally had until October to finish tallying residents but U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced in early August that field data collection would end on Sept. 30.
"I'm particularly concerned about the early end to the census that has been announced by the Bureau. Once again, a politically motivated effort quite clearly," Galvin said at a Tuesday press conference. "I know the Attorney General and I, we've had communication about that, probably suing on that too."
Galvin said 65.8 percent of the households in Massachusetts have self-reported. Cities like Worcester, Lawrence, Boston, and Fall River are areas Galvin said he wants to make sure get counted. Staff members from the secretary of state's office traveled to Lawrence to work with the U.S. Census Bureau, Galvin said, using handheld tablets to count people.
"We're working closely with local municipalities where undercounts are a real problem and trying to make sure that they all get counted," he said. "We're ahead of the country but that's a small consolation when we're still looking at a third of the households in Massachusetts."