Time running out for census count

  • The News Observer
    The News Observer

You have the ability to secure approximately $2,300 worth of federal funds for your state and local communities as well as have an impact on how your district is represented at the state and federal levels.

How can you do this? By participating in the 2020 United States Census before the September 30 deadline.

The State of Georgia receives more than $2,300 from the federal government for every person counted, from infants to young children to older adults.

Fannin County’s response rate, as of September 14, is listed at 38.1%.

House Speaker David Ralston is encouraging residents in Fannin, Gilmer and Dawson counties to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census before the September 30 deadline. 

“The census was envisioned by our founders and enshrined in our Constitution as a way to accurately and fairly allocate representation and resources,” Ralston said. “Participation is important and it is easy – taking no more than a few minutes. I encourage everyone to respond to the census so that our region receives the funding our growing communities deserve.”

Fannin’s rate is lower than Gilmer County’s at 46.3% and Dawson County’s at 61.1%. 

Georgia’s self-response rate is 61.1%, which is behind the national average of 65.7%. 

Ralston further explained that the census “ensures accurate representation for districts at both the state and federal level.” 

The number of residents counted also helps direct federal funding to local communities for health care, emergency and disaster response, education and infrastructure. 

Fannin County non-profits and social service organizations, such as Fannin County Family Connection, also frequently use census data to help secure funds.

Census enumerators are still surveying door-to-door, and will continue to travel to residences that have not yet responded to the census online, by phone or by mail.

Each enumerator will carry an official census bag, an official census enumerator ID badge and will have an electronic device.

You can complete the approximately 5-minute online questionnaire today by visiting www.My2020Census.Gov or by phone at 844-330-2020.

Those who need access to a computer and/or internet can utilize Fannin County Library’s stations available for use from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

It is advised to call ahead when possible. The library can be reached at 706-632-5263.

While the online questionnaire will ask of your 12-digit Census ID, you can use your address if you do not know the ID number. Those who do not have a street address will be prompted to move forward.

Second homes and cabin rentals play a part in Fannin’s lower response rate. 

While those who do not live here full time can not be counted in the county, they can respond to the questionnaire for their Fannin homes letting the Census Bureau know that no one lives there.

Are you a second home or cabin rental owner? You can also visit www.My2020Census.Gov to fill the questionnaire out online or call 844-330-2020 to complete the survey by phone.

You will also be asked for your 12-digit Census ID found in the materials that were either mailed or left at your second home address.

If you do not have that Census ID, you can use your second home or cabin rental address.  

Once the questionnaire is accessed, you will need to complete the first couple of prompts, which includes the address and name.

You will then get to the question, “Including yourself, how many people were living or staying at your address on April 1, 2020?”

If this is not your primary residence, you will need to put the number “0.” This will prompt a message in red that reads, “Please include yourself when reporting the number of people.” At that point, select next again with “0” still in the number box.

Next, you will get a pop-up that reads, “On April 1, 2020, were you living or staying at your address?” 

If this is not your primary residence and the property is a rental, select “no” then “for rent” on the next prompt. If this is not your primary residence and the property is a second home, select “no” and then “for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use” on the next prompt.

Remember, the deadline to complete the census is Wednesday, September 30. Make sure to get counted.