2020 census offers an online option for all households for the first time

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FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions on how to fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Ga. Although the 2020 census kicked off in rural villages of Alaska in January, the rest of the nation gets to start participating in the once-a-decade head count in the coming days. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Make It Count

BRANSON, Mo.–The 2020 census will be different than any other count done before. This year, there is a self-response option.

Today is census day, which means households should report where they live and who usually lives and sleeps in that home as of Wednesday, April 1.

The 2020 count is the first time that all US households can respond online, but even with this convenience, 62% of Missourians have still not completed filing.

The census can also be sent in the mail, or you can confirm your household numbers over the phone.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the counting process has been extended from July 31 until August 14.

Karen Best, former mayor of Branson and member of the 2020 Complete Count Committee, says that the sooner households fill out a form on their own, the fewer door knocks the bureau will have to make by visiting unresponsive homes during the ongoing public health crisis.

“If you don’t fill it out, someone’s going to come knocking on your door,” Best said. “They will keep knocking on your door until they get the answers they need. So let’s make it easy for them in this time of the pandemic when that’s lifted, and the workers can go out and knock on your doors. Let’s have them beat on fewer doors by us doing our part to do it either online, by the mail, or by phone. Let’s all celebrate census day.”

Best says not filling out the form can put others at risk to COVID-19 when they come knocking on your door.

“And so if you don’t fill it out, someone’s going to come knocking on your door,” Best said. “And they’re going to keep knocking on your door until they get the answers they need.”

With online filing, the census can be easier on everyone.

“The 2020 count will be the first time that all U-S households will be allowed to do the census online at my2020census.gov,” Best said. “But you can always call in to get your numbers or you can fill out what they mail you, and you can mail it right back to them.”

People will be coming door to door for the 2020 Census, but not until May 27

One resident mailing in his census today is James Waller. He says he was done in no time.

“It’s maybe eight or 10 questions,” Waller said. “It’s not a lot. It only takes maybe five minutes to fill it out.”

The information gathered from census helps decide what amount of federal funding will be received by critical public services such as hospitals and healthcare.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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