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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau will conduct a test run in Rhode Island next year to prepare for the nationwide census in 2020.

The Providence Journal reports it is unclear why Providence County was selected as the only testing ground in the U.S. for the upcoming census. But redistricting expert Kimball Brace says the test will help the state see how close it is to losing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rhode Island has two representatives in the House, Democratic Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline. Langevin was first elected to Congress in 2000. Cicilline has served in the House since 2011.

Brace has said that the state is about 5,500 people away from becoming a single district state. If that happens, it would be the first time the state was down to one representative since the nation was formed.

Seven states have a single representative.

Brace estimates the bureau will hire about 1,800 census takers and supervisors for the test in 2018.

John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, said he’s concerned about whether the test will be successful because of cuts to the Census Bureau’s advertising budget. He said people in Rhode Island will need to know why the bureau is contacting them.


Information from: The Providence Journal,