ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The good-government group Common Cause is urging local officials to participate in a federal program allowing cities and towns to double-check the federal census.

The relatively obscure program allows local governments to review and suggest changes to the address list used for the once-every-decade census.

Common Cause-New York Executive Director Susan Lerner says it's vital to ensure the accuracy of the census so areas receive their fair level of political representation and federal funding. She says it's especially important in traditionally hard to count communities, such as rural areas or those with large numbers of poor or minority residents.

Federal census officials will begin a series of workshops with local officials in October as plans for the 2020 census get underway.

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