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Ivey: Census is ‘roadmap to our future’

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued a statement stressing the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census, which is currently underway and available to be filled out online, over the phone or through the post.

“It is an unprecedented time in Alabama; however, we must remain committed to census participation,” Ivey said in the statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic shows the importance of state representation on a national level. If we lose a representative due to a low census count, that would mean one less voice advocating for Alabama’s needs during critical times in the future.”

If the state falls short of the 72 percent participation rate it reached in 2010, the last time the census was tallied, the state will likely lose a representative in Congress and see a loss of millions of dollars in census-derived community funding, as well as a reduction in economic development opportunities.

“Though the hearts and minds of Alabamians rests on the unprecedented health emergency we are currently battling, we must remember that our census results are vital to our collective future,” said Kenneth Boswell, Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and Chairman of the Alabama Counts committee. “Furthermore, responding now will minimize the need for the Census Bureau to send census takers out into community to follow up one restrictions are lifted.”

Ivey noted that participation in the 202 U.S. Census will not impact where a person receives stimulus funds, which were recently approved to be distributed to all Americans via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, because the census is bound by a section of the U.S. Code that mandates that census information remains confidential.

“The answers you provide are used for statistical purposes only and in no way will impact personal stimulus package allocation,” Ivey said.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau has had to adjust its original timeline – state leaders, specifically Ivey and Boswell, are in close contact with representative from the bureau and are monitoring the situation daily.

“Census participation is not merely a count; it’s a roadmap for our future,” Ivey said. “Now more than ever, the urgency of an accurate count is vital to Alabama. Help us create a future for Alabama that is one with proper consideration in times like this. Please fill out your census – our future depends on it.”

Alabamians can fill out the 10-question U.S. Census online at www.my2020Census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by paper form while still observing social distancing guidelines laid out by state and federal officials.

For more information, visit census.Alabama.gov.