Census 2020: Help Ensure an Accurate Count

Mailings to begin arriving next week; Officials detail what to expect

Albany, NY – Beginning next week, Broome County residents will start receiving mail from the US Census Bureau for the 2020 nationwide count. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was joined by County Executive Jason Garnar and other local leaders to provide details about what residents can expect. Every ten years, the Census helps determine our representation in Congress, and how much funding is distributed to communities for things like public education, hospitals, infrastructure, public transit, housing, and more.

“New York State has been historically undercounted,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “The count has a real impact on taxpayers, too, as each person that isn’t counted costs the state $2,600 per year. In Broome County, there is a coordinated effort to make sure everyone knows the Census count is taking place, how to fill out the form, and where to find information and resources to help residents complete it.”

“Last year our Broome County Planning and Economic Development department put together a Complete Count Committee in preparation for the 2020 census and they have been working diligently to get the message out,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “It is important for every Broome County resident to get counted so that our community is accurately represented and provided with the resources we need.”

Here’s what to expect: mailings will begin arriving next week and will include instructions for completing the form online or by phone. If you prefer to fill out a paper form and mail it in, you can do that as well; anyone who does not complete the online or telephone Census will automatically receive a paper form with instructions about submitting via US mail. Resources and information to help you fill out the form will be available at local libraries and senior centers.

Census workers will also be visiting various places in the community on March 30th, 31st, and April 1st to reach hard to count individuals, such as people who do not have a permanent residence or are homeless, and help them complete the form. Beginning in May, workers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to make sure everyone is counted.

It is also important to note that all information provided to the Census is confidential and completely safe. It is a felony to disclose any confidential information, and the penalty for wrongful disclosure is up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000. The information collected can’t be used to track people or determine eligibility for benefits. Also, the Census Bureau will never ask for your full Social Security number. If you are suspicious of any questions asked by someone claiming to be a Census worker, contact law enforcement right away. Also, while encouraged, individuals do not have to answer every question on the Census form; incomplete forms will still be counted.

For more information about the Census, including employment opportunities, visit https://2020census.gov.