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Fill Out Your 2020 Census Form…It Is the Law

By Doris Elmore
Staff Writer

Have you received a Census 2020 form in the mail? Have you taken the time to fill it out and return to the government? These are important questions and I hope you have answered yes. Whether or not you have returned your census form will make a difference in your community.

Every 10 years, everyone living in the United States gets counted in the census—once and in the right place. According to a brochure from the census bureau, your response helps make sure that more than $675 billion in federal funds is directed each year to the right places to support education, health care, firefighting services, and more. Many decisions about where to send this money are based on census data. A complete and accurate count is also critical for determining how many representatives each state will have in Congress.

You should count yourself in the right place. You should count yourself where you live and sleep most of the time. Pay special attention if you are: completing your household’s form, a recent mover, a renter, a college student, a service member, a resident of a group facility.

The Atwood-Hammond Public Library is going to set up a specific computer for residents to use to fill out a census form if you have not received one in the mail. Library employees can assist you if needed, they just cannot answer your questions. This service will be available when the library is able to re-open their doors to the public.

Several people have been moving out of Illinois for one reason or another, which makes it essential for everyone to be counted. If you have just had a new baby, don’t forget to have them counted.

Earlier, I told you the goal of the 2020 census. Some of the frequently asked questions include the following:

Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?

Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census. The census is conducted under the authority of Title 13, U. S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, they could not conduct the census.

How long will my 2020 Census questionnaire take?

The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.

How do I respond?

Go to to complete your 2020 Census questionnaire online. You will need the 12-digit Census ID found below the barcode on the questionnaire.

How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?

By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.

Are my answers confidential and private?

Yes. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information (Title 12, U.S. Code, Section 19). The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal cybersecurity enhancement Act of 2015, your data is protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web date submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy.

More information is available online, but just remember it is the law for you to fill out the 2020 Census form, besides it is something you need to do to help your community and state.

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