As Americans have dealt with the hardships and consequences surrounding the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visualizing a “back-to-normal” routine remains challenging for many. Although these times are unprecedented and the future is uncertain, life continues to carry on. In the midst of the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting the 2020 Census, marking the twenty-fourth time the country has counted the population since 1790.
As you know, the Census Bureau conducts a count of every resident in the United States every ten years, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of our Constitution. This action is critically important to understanding current facts and figures about our country’s people, places, and economy. The accuracy of this year’s Census is vital to the future of our state’s representation in Congress and the Electoral College System. Alabama currently has nine Electoral College votes, and if everyone throughout the state does not fully participate, that number could drop down. This is something we, as Alabamians, do not want to see happen. The Census also dictates the amount of federal dollars that come into Alabama, specifically to hospitals, job training centers, schools, infrastructure, and other emergency services. Inaccurate or miscounted numbers mean we as a state are having to do more with less.
Despite COVID-19, it is crucial you do your part by completing the 2020 Census questionnaire. Several methods are available:
- Respond Online – You can respond online using your computer, smartphone, or tablet at my2020census.gov. If you are responding online, please note that you cannot save your progress and that you must complete the census in one sitting.
- Respond by Phone – Call 844-330-2020.
- Respond by Mail – You can mail back the paper questionnaire sent to your home. Most households received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in March.
Even if you did not receive an invitation to respond from the Census Bureau, you can respond online or visit the Census Bureau’s “Contact Us” page to call the phone line at 2020census.gov/en/contact-us.
As of June 17, the national self-response rate was 61.5 percent, Alabama’s rate was 59.3 percent, and the Second Congressional District’s rate was 57.8 percent. If you live in the Second District and have not yet filled out your 2020 Census accounting for yourself and your family, I challenge you to respond today, and I encourage all Alabamians to participate. These results will shape the future of our state for years to come, and you will be proud to have been a part of it. For more information, visit the official 2020 Census webpage at 2020census.gov.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.