Fill out the 2020 Census to ensure voters' interests come first when redrawing congressional maps.
The census happens every 10 years and our last shot is here: one chance to have maps drawn to ensure all voters' interests and voices come before political parties.
First, we must understand what the Census Bureau is and why it is important. It is mandated in the U.S Constitution that a census occurs every 10 years to account for every person living in the United States; it is required by law to fill it out. The Census Bureau aims to collect information and quality data about the people of the United States and our economy. The goals are to provide relevant data and this information is collected through the American Community Survey (ACS). The 2020 Census will mark only the 24th time the country has collected this data since 1790 - you don’t want to miss this opportunity.
Why should you fill it out? It is quick and easy; it is not too late; and it is safe and secure to do.
This year’s census faced challenges we haven’t seen in the past; COVID-19 interrupted what is already an enormous task to pull off, as enumerators (the people who go door to door in an effort to get more people counted) were pulled off the streets. Furthermore, political challenges to the census have resulted in a smaller window to fill it out. (Though that too might be changing).
Census responses direct where federal funds will go towards local communities - schools, roads, and other public services. Along with this, census responses help determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and political representation at all levels of government.
This December, the Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress and by March 31, 2021, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to the states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts.
This year, like other census years, certain states may gain or lose a seat in Congress based on the results of the census -- a change that will directly impact constituent representation. This once-in-a-decade impact is why you should fill out the Census - this is why you need to take action.
By filling out the Census, you are helping to ensure that you and your community have fair and proportional representation.
How can you take part? If you haven’t filled out the 2020 Census, it is not too late! Fill it out here by October 15, 2020. Be part of the change in our political system and ensure voters' interests come first. If you want to help shape your future, you can start here and start now.
Note: this article has been edited to reflect the updated deadline for the census.