Census 2020 deadline is approaching, Oct. 1
Howard County is sitting at self-response rate of 48.7%
The time to be counted is now. The U.S. Census 2020 is currently taking place and will be wrapping up on Oct. 31. As of Sept. 3, Howard County is sitting at a selfresponse rate of 48.7% and Big Spring is at 49.2%, and Texas is sitting at a 60.5% self-response rate.
“People can respond online, by phone or by mailing back the paper form that was delivered to the household,” Brenda MacDonald, Media Specialist for U.S. Census Bureau, said.
Those who want to respond online can visit 2020census. gov or by phone at 844-3302020 or at 844-468-2020 for those who would like to take the Census in Spanish. Each household should have also received a paper form that can be filled out and returned as well.
“As part of its Nonresponse Followup Operation (NRFU), the U.S. Census Bureau is visiting every household that has not already responded to the 2020 Census to ensure a complete and accurate count,” MacDonald said. “Census takers are scheduled to visit the non-responding households from now until Sept. 30, 2020 to ask a few questions and will enter the answers on their secure Census Bureau smart phone. If a family member is not home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online or by phone. Additional visits will be made to the household if contact is not made the first time.”
“Census takers will follow social distancing protocols and all applicable state and local requirements with regard to health and safety.
Until Sept. 30, 2020, households can continue to respond online or by phone.
According to MacDonald, a higher self-response rate means fewer people are likely to be missed or counted inaccurately and fewer households will have a visit from a census taker to be counted in-person. The communities with a higher self-response rate also have a better chance at receiving their fair share of services and political representation.
“The 2020 Census impacts how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to communities each year. Funds are used for critical programs and services such as food assistance, including SNAP and WIC, new roads, infrastructure improvements, and area hospital and clinics,” she said.
In the Lubbock ACO region – which covers to Amarillo, Big Spring, Lubbock, Abilene, and San Angelo there are 790 census takers or enumerators and visits are made from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day. While some may be leery about identifying a census taker correctly, the Census Bureau’s website offers information on how to identify a census taker and how to report suspected fraud.
“It is not too late to get counted and every person counts,” she said.
Amanda Duforat is the Managing Editor at the Big Spring Herald. To contact her, e-mail email@example.com or call 432-263-7331.