Census takers head door-to-door starting Aug 11 to engage with non-responders

NEW YORK—Beginning Aug. 11, the U.S. Census Non-Response Follow Up (NRFU) team will be knocking on the doors of households that have not responded to the Census questionnaires.

With everyone’s safety in mind, the Census Bureau has provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and will require all enumerators or census takers to wear masks and practice social distancing at all times.

Census takers will be wearing a valid government ID badge with their photo, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date on the badge.

If no one is home, the census takers will leave a notice on how to respond immediately online, by phone, or by snail mail. They will come back until they get your response

U.S. Census Bureau Asst. Regional Manager Lisa Moore said, “It’s never too late to self-respond.”

Moore said one thing to remember when census takers are at your door: “We’re not asking for bank account information, we’re not asking for citizenship status, and we’re not asking on behalf of a political party, and we’re also not asking for money or donations.”

A complete Census count will help shape the future of local communities when it comes to making public funds available for schools, roads, fire, emergency services, and hospitals, among others.

The 2020 Census will also determine the number of congressional seats each state gets in the House of Representatives.

By law, census information is confidential—it cannot be shared to immigration or law enforcement agencies.

Census takers who violate this confidentiality and break the law may face stiff fines and jail time, said Alana Vega, Kids Count coordinator at Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

“They could be subject to up to a $250,000 fine and/or up to five years in prison,” she said. “It’s something very serious. Again it’s a lifetime oath.”

As of Aug. 5, the national response rate is 63.1 percent with 93.3 million households that have been counted in total. Fifty four percent of households completed their census online.

Minnesota leads all states with 72.4 percent of the households having completed the forms.

While North River, North Dakota and Balltown, Iowa are the only two cities that have completed their census.

When an enumerator knocks at your door, residents can call the Census Bureau at 844-330-220 to verify.

The U.S. Census Bureau stressed that it’s imported to be counted and that the safest way to take part is by responding online, by phone or by snail mail.

This story was part of the 2020 Census: New Jersey Media Counts, an initiative of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. 

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  • Mario
    7 August 2020 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Census will determine the Congressional District, this is the OBAMA-BIDEN brilliance, they removed the Immigration questions, Cogressional District is determined by the number of CITIZEN or VOTERs, not the number of Population. This CENSUS will determine the number of people whether illegal or Legal alien staying in the house. It will be the basis for City, Town, and Municipal budgets. Therefore TAXPAYERS money will be allocated for an illegal alien. After this Census California will add 2 or more Congressional Districts, for next year’s election. The median for electoral Votes is 270, therefore it will increase maybe in the future.