Carol Cain Bush, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, attended the Thursday, March 12 Upshur County Commission.

U.S. Census rep: First invitations to fill out Census form expected to arrive by mail March 20

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County residents can start to expect U.S. Census letters, inviting them to go online and fill out the survey any day now.

Carol Cain Bush, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, attended the Thursday, March 12 Upshur County Commission meeting to let the commissioners know how the online Census survey would work.

According to the U.S. Census’s website, invitations to begin filling out the Census will arrive at people’s residences between March 12 and March 20.

“Starting today, they will be mailing out these invitations and they’ll be mailing them out over a number of days, just to so they don’t overwhelm the post office,” Bush said. “But it’ll say respond by April 1, and then it will have a Census ID number on it, so in a perfect world, people will look at this, they’ll take their ID number, they’ll go to 2020 and there will be a big button there and they’ll push that button and they’ll be able to answer the survey online.”

She said if anyone loses the ID number or the paper, they may still go online and just use their name and birthday.

“They’ll also be given the option to call it in over the phone, and they can answer the questions to the person at the other end, and then they’ll receive a couple of reminder postcards to … self-report on the survey, and that fourth mailing, which will come somewhere near the end of the month of April,” Bush said. “They’ll actually receive the paper survey – people can’t request the paper survey, but eventually it will be mailed or delivered to them.”

People who haven’t responded to the survey can expect physical survey takers to start arriving in May, June and July.

“When those folks are in the area, they’ll have a shirt that identifies them as Census worker, they’ll have an ID badge, and they won’t have the big clipboards they’ll have some kind of mini iPad or iPhone where they can fill things out, which should be more efficient than having all this paper,” Bush said.

April 1 is Census Day and the Upshur County Public Library will be having a Census Day party to help people fill out the survey.

“They are going to be available any hours that they are open, and they are available there to provide computer access, and they’ll have at least one dedicated to that,” Bush said. “Their staff is also familiar so that although they can’t fill out the census form for people, they can guide them and assist them if they should have questions because you can see the census itself is just nine questions per person.”

Bush read the proclamation, explaining how important an accurate Census can be.

“It is vital that all households in Upshur County, West Virginia complete and submit the Census form and every resident of Upshur County and deserves to be counted … and the Census will determine how the federal government distributes hundreds of billions of dollars allocated to more than 100 programs including Medicaid, Headstart, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program as well as other needs of services in West Virginia,” Bush said.

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