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San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board | January 2, 2020

California has just received a stark reminder about the importance of an accurate and complete count in the 2020 census. As it stands, the Golden State is poised to lose a congressional seat for the first time in history, a reflection in part of out-migration to other states, most notably Texas.

The ramifications don’t end there. Hundreds of billions of federal tax dollars are distributed on the basis of state population.

California has been forewarned: It needs to do everything it can to ensure that all residents, citizen and noncitizen, are counted this year. An analysis of the preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week showed that California was one of 10 states likely to lose a congressional seat.

A final determination won’t be made until the census is complete. Once that reapportionment is set, the states would then begin redrawing congressional boundaries for the 2022 midterms. California assigns that duty to its Citizens Redistricting Commission, which is charged with configuring those maps without regard to how it might affect a political party or candidate.

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