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Mayor Lewis: Fill out those 2020 Census forms

Moore County currently ranks 11th in the state for self-response in the 2020 Census. Mayor Lewis is encouraging locals to keep up the good work. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — Be counted. It’s important. Census numbers determine things like how much federal funding Metro Moore County can qualify for, how our political districts are drawn, and future county planning. That’s why Mayor Bonnie Lewis is encouraging all local to respond to this year’s Census.

On April 2, The Lynchburg Times reported that Moore County ranked number one in state Census responses. You can read that complete coverage by clicking here. As of last week, Moore County’s self-response was 66.1 percent, which is above both the state and national average of 60.6 percent. That places us is eleventh place overall for the state of Tennessee.

Remember, if you do not participate via self-response, a 2020 Census taker will visit your home. By law, they can come back up to six times.

Why do I have to participate? In short, it’s the law. The U.S. Constitution – Article 1, Section 2 to be exact – mandates that we take an accurate counting of all living persons inside the United Stated every 10 years.

Who is counted? The Census counts every person living inside the United Stated regardless of citizenship. The 2020 Census does not include a citizenship question.

What does the Census ask? It’s a short questionnaire with less that 10 questions per person. It includes your first and last name, sex, age, and race. That’s it. Click here to view a sample of the questions. Census takers will never ask about your religion, political affiliations, or income. They will also never ask for your Social Security number of financial information.

Will they keep my information private? Yes … but only for a certain amount of time. All Census answers remain anonymous and they are kept confidential for 72 years. After that, your information is released to the National Archives.

What happens if I don’t answer the form? If you choose not to voluntarily respond online, by phone, or by mail before May 1, then a U.S. Census worker will visit your home to collect the information in person.

What should I do if I suspect the person at my door doesn’t really work for the U.S. Census? All U.S. Census worker wear official identification complete with an ID badge number. If you suspect the person, get their badge number and call the U.S. Census Regional Office to verify them. Tennessee is located in the Philadelphia Regional office along with Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia. You can reach them at 800.262.4236 or via email at Philadelphia.Regional.Office@census.gov.

And remember, by law, your answers on the U.S. Census can never be used against you by any government agency or court. Getting an accurate count of every person living in Moore County is important. Census numbers help determine how billions in federal dollars are spent. They also determine how many seats in Congress the State of Tennessee gets. For more information, visit the U.S. Census website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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