In Mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Local leaders in the City of Jacksonville and Morgan County have already begun preparations to capture as much of the population of the county as possible to ensure that the county receives the maximum amount of federal grant money driven by population numbers and to try to stymie the loss of a U.S. Congressional seat.
Kristen Jamison of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation says that people should not worry about their information being stolen or compromised during the federal census because it is protected under federal law. “Nothing you report to the U.S. Census Bureau can be used against you. This year, because of the Local Update of Census Addresses Program, our Geographic Information System leaders in every community – for instance Shawn Artis here in Morgan County – has worked directly with Kelly Hall at the City of Jacksonville to be as ready for the census as ever before. So much of the census is already guided by building permits and things that are online and are electronically maintained, our leaders are completely ready to capture an accurate count.”
This will be the first time that people will be able to complete the census online rather than through a census taker going door to door or mailing it in. Codes will still be mailed out to access the census online. Jamison says that there will be a number of places in Jacksonville to complete the census if you don’t have connectivity in your home. “It’s about 10 questions, so it takes almost no time at all. Our partners at the Morgan-Cass Farm Bureau will have Ipads available for folks to come in off the street to help them with the process. The Jacksonville Library, the City of Jacksonville Municipal Building – there will be all these places for people who want to get this done right away when they receive the invitation in the mail to complete it online.”
After counting the homeless in the United States from March 30th to April 1st, the nationwide census day will take place on April 1st and the second round of invitations will be sent to complete the census. It is after April 1st that residents can expect a census taker to knock on their door if they have not participated. By December the Census Bureau will deliver counts to the President and Congress according to Constitutional law.