Door-to-door Census Bureau workers are set to start canvassing houses where people have not yet completed the census beginning next week. The visits begin just after the bureau announced the deadline to complete the 2020 Census had been moved up from the end of October to the end of September.

As of Wednesday, the United States Census Bureau estimates only 58.9% of residents across the state have submitted a census form. That number is slightly higher in Gordon County, where approximately 59% of residents have done so. In Calhoun, only 58.2% of residents are estimated to have submitted the form.

In 2010, the census participation rate for the county was significantly higher at 77%. The same is true for 2010, when the participation rate was 71%.

The census plays an important role in determining the amount of funding communities receive for things like Medicaid, SNAP, housing and education, the drawing of district lines for Congressional, state and local representation and state support for other vital infrastructure.

“It is important that we count every person in the community because we want Georgia and Gordon County to get their fair share of the power and the money that is available,” U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Tina Nguyen said. “Every person that is counted means more resources for Gordon County.”

Part of the difficulty in getting an accurate count this year has stemmed from COVID-19 and the need to social distance. More than 6,000 Gordon County households lack internet access and the lack of open spaces with WiFi access has made completing the census particularly difficult for these families. Both paper and phone options are now available.

All Census personnel visiting homes next week will have a valid ID badge featuring their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. They will also wear masks and will have participated in a COVID-19 training session prior to the visit.

To complete the census by phone, call 844-330-2020. To do so online, visit www.my2020census.gov.

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