By Eric Dietrich
Montana Free Press 

Lagging rural census response could cost Montana second U.S. House seat

Montana 2020 census response rates by county as of June 9. Credit: U.S. Census Bureau


HELENA - Members of the commission tasked with redrawing Montana's legislative boundaries following the 2020 census expressed frustration over the state's dragging response rate in Native communities and other rural areas June 10, citing complications from the COVID-19 pandemic that have disrupted get-out-the-count efforts.

One, Republican Jeff Essmann of Billings, worried a low count could cost Montana its opportunity to gain back a second seat in the U.S. House.

"If we don't have these rural counties and our Native populations properly counted, we're not going to be getting that second co...

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