Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Schools, Highways, Health Care Will Lose If You Don’t Fill Out the Census
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Friday, April 10, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

You’d think with all the time many people have on their hands during the stay-at-home order, they could fill out a census form.

Apparently, that’s not happening.

Just 16 percent of Blaine County citizens have completed their census questionnaire, says Wendy Jaquet, co-chair of Idaho Complete County Committee. So far, the Idaho response rate is 41.8 percent.

In 2010 Idaho had a 76 percent response rate.

The census has been taken every 10 years since 1790. It helps the government allocate federal program funds for the next 10 years, which will have a huge impact on funding for highway construction, children’s health insurance, school lunch programs, Medicaid, foster care, hospitals, schools,  and health care.

It makes sure each state gets its fair of federal funding. And it determines the distribution of congressional seats, as well as local boundaries for the legislature, school and commission seats.

“A person not counted in 2020 is a person ‘lost’ for the next 10 years,” said Jaquet. “Census data is used as a baseline for decision making and money is allocated based on updated annul population estimates using births and deaths. For every person who isn’t counted, it will cost Blaine County potentially tens of thousands of dollars.”

Researchers have projected that each Idahoans brings $1,473 to the table if counted, Jaquet added.

Co-Chair Herbert Romero emphasized that the census will not ask for a social security number or whether the responder is a citizen. The completed form is anonymous.

“There are no barriers and data is not made available to ICE or local police,” he said.

Huge fines and jail time could be threatened against anyone who might be tempted to use the census against Blaine residents, he added.

The U.s Census does not mail to post office boxes, which automatically leaves everyone in Ketchum and Sun Valley out of the loop.

Those with post office boxes can complete the census questionnaire on the Internet. The questionnaire will ask for a 12-digit census number, Jaquet said. Under “login,” click on “If you do not have a Census ID, click here.”

That will allow people to complete the questionnaire.

Those who do not have Internet at home can access the Wi-Fi outside the Community Library, Hailey Public Library and Bellevue Public Library on their cellphone, iPad or laptop. Go to www.2020census.gov  for English or www.2020census.gov/es for Spanish. No password is required to use a library Wi-Fi.

Or, you can complete the questionnaire via phone by calling the Census office at 1-844-330-2020. Call 1-844-468-2020 for Spanish translation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

 

  1. What if I am homeless?
    1. In 2020, the Census Bureau will devote three days to counting people who are experiencing homelessness across the country, with checks in place to ensure that people aren’t counted more than once. These days follow months of outreach and coordination with local census offices, partners, shelter directors, service providers, and others:
  2. What if I am a college student?
    1. If you live in dorms, you will be counted by the dorm in what is called group quarters.
    2. If you are a college student and live off-campus, the house will receive one mailer to be completed by the entire household.

       

  3. What will the government do with my information?
    1. It counts our population and households in order to (1) provide the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, state and local redistricting, and (2) distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states (in Idaho this means $2.4B in funds to our state), counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
    2. Link: https://www.census.gov/partners/2020.html

       

  4. How will I know my information is secure?
    1. Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential.
    2. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/factsheets/2019/comm/2020-confidentiality-factsheet.pdf
    3. https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html

       

  5. Why does the government want to count little old me?
    1. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution since 1790 the Census counts our population and households. The Census (1) provides the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, state and local redistricting, and (2) distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states (in Idaho this means $2.4B in funds to our state), counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
    2. Link: https://www.census.gov/partners/2020.html

       

  6. Do I have to answer all the questions?
    1. Yes
  7. What happens if I don’t complete the Census survey?
    1. A Census Taker may come back to your household to get that info.
  8. Can I just fill out a paper form?
    1. Yes, you can fill out the paper questionnaire, you can also complete it online, and by phone.
  9. What if I am undocumented?
    1. Your information is safe and confidential
    2. https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html

       

  10. Why does the Census count non-citizens?
    1. Because the U.S. Constitution created by the Founding Fathers of the United States of America stated that all people living in the United States must be counted.
    2. United States Census of 1790 was the first census of the whole United States. It recorded the population of the United States as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws.

       

  11. Can the librarian fill out the form for me?
    1. No, the 2020 Census Questionnaire is to be filled by the individual.

       

  12. Can a child fill out the survey for a non-English speaking or disabled parent?
    1. No, an adult must fill out the form. For the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to provide the Internet Self-Response Instrument and Census Questionnaire Assistance in 12 non-English languages; enumerator instrument, bilingual paper questionnaire, bilingual mailing, and field enumeration materials in Spanish; and language guides, language glossaries, and language identification card in 59 non-English languages. The form will be delivered to households via mail, or an enumerator.
    2. https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial/2020/program-management/memo-series/2020-memo-2018_06.pdf

       

  13. Do children complete their own surveys?
    1. No, adults fill it out for them. Don’t forget the babies, they are often missed and undercounted.😊

 

 

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