You’re Home, So Please Take the Census

 

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Why is the census important?

Well, let’s see. The census tells the government how many people are living in every community, and those numbers drive a lot of decisions and policies, like:

  • how many congressional districts the state will have
  • where the people live determine how the districts will get redrawn
  • it determines how much federal money flows to the state to use for education, health (think Medicaid), housing, and highways
  • it determines where investments in new schools, hospitals, airports, libraries, roads, etc. goes
  • emergency responders (in natural disasters and health emergencies like the one we’re experiencing right now) use census info to tackle crises

What are the consequences of an undercount?

If the Census data collection is not effective, it could undercount the US population. A state might not get the extra congressional seat it deserves; school districts might find out too late that they have way more kids than they projected; a community may not receive the welfare services it needs based on its population.

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What if I’m concerned about privacy?

By law, the Census Bureau cannot share your individual answers with others, including any other government agency. In fact, to encourage honesty and accurate answers, the law mandates that individual census forms are kept private for 72 years.

How do I take the Census?

The Census Bureau sent out everyone’s invitation to take the Census, and they are hitting homes between March 12-20. (I got mine a couple of days ago.) The letter contains the code you will enter online to take the census. Depending on how many people live in your home, it’ll take between 4-7 minutes to complete it. It’s pretty quick.

So, go through the stack of mail in your house, get the letter out and take the census. Just get it done.

If you have any questions, the main 2020 Census information page can be found HERE.

It’s one more thing you can check off your to-do list!

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7 replies

  1. You can take the census online. On your cell phone even. Easy peasy.

  2. In theory, and under ‘normal’ circumstances, I would agree with you. Today, however, we are in a situation where we have no reason to trust our federal government and every reason to be suspicious of the leaders of this nation. I will likely fill mine out, but I’m not in any hurry … I will wait ’til the very last minute, just because I refuse to jump through hoops when the president of this nation cannot even be trusted to tell us the truth and not to rob us blind. I want to know for an absolute, undeniable fact, that we will have a fair and honest election on November 3rd. I live in a state that is highly gerrymandered, so … what is the point in my filling out the census forms that will be disregarded, or worse, used to reduce the impact of the minority vote? Again, you have the right idea … but this year the normal rules simply don’t apply. Sigh.

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