The window to take part in our nation’s once-in-a-decade head count closes Oct. 5.
As the deadline nears, we realize that residents who haven’t responded yet may have a variety of reasons for not doing so. Nevertheless, we want to emphasize that everyone counts and everyone needs to be counted. To that end, we’ve compiled our responses to common excuses for not completing the census.
Isn’t the questionnaire a complicated government form? I don’t have time to fill that out this week!
Fortunately, the census questionnaire is one of the simplest government forms you’ll ever fill out. The questions are fairly basic, and even if you have a large household, completing the census shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so. Check out this video to learn more about the types of questions you’ll encounter.
I never got my questionnaire in the mail.
The census bureau recognizes that people are more inclined to conduct business digitally nowadays, which is why, for the first time this year, all respondents have the option of completing the census entirely online. If you never received your paper form or if you simply don’t feel like using it, head to www.my2020census.gov to respond online.
I can’t find the postcard with my Census ID on it. I must have thrown it away by mistake…
Even if you don’t know your ID, you can still complete the census. When you get to the login page, click “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.”
Your Census ID helps the census bureau easily match your response to your address. However, the bureau can still process your information without an ID.
I don’t want the government to have my personal information.
By law, census responses can only be used to produce statistics. The census bureau keeps identifying information completely confidential and doesn’t share it with anyone—including other government agencies and law enforcement. Learn more about the confidentiality of the census here.
I thought completing the census was optional.
Nope, the census is mandatory—and you could be fined if you don’t respond. The decennial census is intended to provide a complete count of everyone living in the U.S., so it’s important for everyone to respond.
Even so, I don’t think completing the census is that big of a deal.
It is a very big deal. The federal government uses census data to determine how to distribute approximately $675 billion in federal funding for education, health care, infrastructure, community development and much more. It’s also used to determine our representation at the federal level and is even used by businesses looking for potential locations.
To respond to the census, visit www.my2020census.gov. Alternatively, you can respond by phone at 844-330-2020. If you’d like to complete the census in a language other than English, click here to find the phone number associated with your preferred language.
Sam Hankins is the communications specialist for the City of Victoria.
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