The 2020 Census has been overshadowed by information overload and concern about COVID-19. But a community census group in Daviess County has kept up its efforts to get residents to participate.
The Daviess County Complete Count Committee has about 35 members combining their skills to get residents to fill out their household information.
Committee chair Keith Sanders said with strategies like electronic message boards, yard signs and social media, results are good, so far. He said about 70 percent of Daviess County residents have filled out their census information by mail, phone or online.
“We’re likely to get to 85 percent. We certainly hope so, because that just simply reduces the number that have to be accounted for by going door-to-door," said Sanders. "And as we all well know, this is going to be more challenging than it would have been, because of the pandemic.”
Sanders said one of the guiding strategies is to zero in on communities that tend to have a low response to the census.
“The Census Bureau tracks in real time the response from various census tracts, all census tracts," said Sanders. "And if you’re practiced in using that information, and know how to go retrieve it, and we do, folks on our committee, we’re able to get daily what’s going on in each tract.”
Sanders says some of the communities the committee is trying to reach include non-English speakers, senior citizens, and those living in low-income areas and apartment complexes.
Some community events focusing on the census have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The data collected by the census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is also used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities.