Officials are urging Illinoisans to fill out the 2020 Census if they have not already done so, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday.
The ruling by the Supreme Court gave no reasons, which is typical when the court acts on emergency applications. It said the count could stop while federal appeals moved forward. Officially, the count will now stop tomorrow.
Kristin Jamison, President of the Jacksonville Regional Economic and Development Corporation says residents who have not yet completed the 2020 Census should do so as soon as possible. She says it can be completed quickly either online or by phone.
“I would encourage everyone to jump on the website, that is the easiest way to do it, at 2020mycensus.gov. There are phone numbers as well listed on the website if you would rather respond by phone.
Truly, it takes maybe five minutes on the web and your answers to the census questions are confidential. The U.S. Census Bureau is unable to share those with other government entities, and that’s important.”
Jamison says a majority of people in the WLDS / WEAI listening area have completed the census so far, however there are still many who need to respond.
“Illinois right now is at a 71.2%, response rate and the national response is s so we are a little bit above the entire U.S. in terms of response rates. Morgan County sits at 70.7%, while Scott County which is the other county the JREDC represents is at 68.5% so we know we have room to grow there.”
Jamison says that response numbers in Jacksonville are are a mix of both high and lower participation.
“One thing that I want to point out is that there are areas of Jacksonville that have very high response rates. Census tracts that are in the 81% or 84% range. But then on the other hand, there are some census tracts that are down in the 50% area, so clearly we’ve got some work to do in certain census tracts and I know there has been a concerted effort to really educate folks why the census is important, but clearly we are in the 11th hour.”
According to the Associated Press, the Supreme Court justices’ ruling came as the nation’s largest association of statisticians, and even the U.S. Census Bureau’s own census takers and partners, have been raising questions about the quality of the data being gathered — numbers that are used to determine how much federal funding and how many congressional seats are allotted to states.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, the Census Bureau said field operations would end on Thursday.