Why does it matter? (Part 1)

The census affects how California is represented in Congress. Although the U.S. Senate gets two seats per state, the number of members in the House of Representatives are based solely on population. The census is used every 10 years to reallocate the 435 seats in the House. 

In this year’s census, California appears likely to maintain its 53 seats. However, if hard-to-count people don’t turn in their questionnaires, California could miss more than 1.6 million residents, costing the state a seat in the House, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

The census is also used to redraw voting districts. Accuracy is important to ensuring that communities have representatives who reflect them.