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Local officials urge citizens to fill out census

There is just over a month before the 2020 U.S. census ends, and local officials are urging their constituents to fill out the form before the Sept. 30 deadline.

“It matters,” LaFayette city clerk Louis Davidson said during Monday’s council meeting. “Money is on the line, congressional seats are on the line, with regards to the state of Alabama. Just can not say how important it is to do that.”

As of Thursday, the state of Alabama is at 60.9% completion, which is just 2.5% under the national average. Alabama’s response rate is also up 10.6% since April.

Chambers is currently at 56.8% response rate.

“There’s going to be funds available,” LaFayette Mayor Barry Moody said. “We all live in this state and in this county. To benefit not only us but our kids and grandkids.”

Valley is leading the way in Chambers County, with a 58.5% self-response rate. Lanett is at 55%, Cusseta is at 52.1% and LaFayette is at 49.5%.

“While we are shut-in, I would encourage everyone to talk with their friends and relatives about the census and to complete it if they have not,” Chambers County Vice-Chairman Samuel Bradford said. “Each person counted means $1,600 each year in federal dollars for Chambers County.”

The census is required under the United States Constitution, and people are required under federal law to respond with all the information being confidential.

Census data impacts many key things. For example, the data is used to determine much money state and local governments get for Medicaid, housing vouchers, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and education programs.

Census data is also used to determine how many representatives each state gets in the House of Representatives. Alabama stands to possibly lose one seat with this year’s census, making this year’s census numbers extremely important.

If you have not responded to the census, there is still time.

There are several options to respond. You can go online at my2020census.gov, by telephone at (844) 330-2020 and by returning a paper questionnaire that should have been in the mail between March 12 and March 20.

If you have not received anything in the mail, you can still go online and respond.