In a year when candidates left, right and from other points are asking you to stand up and be counted with your vote, there is another very important process going on this year.

It’s also time for the decennial Census. 

Every 10 years, the nation’s head count — and the numbers and information go way beyond just how many people live where they live — lets us know how many neighbors we have. 

So many things are determined on the number of people who live in a certain area — government grants for schools and roads and bridges, the number of people who represent you at the state and national levels. For a community to be accurately and appropriately represented in the halls of government, a correct tabulation of the population is needed.

There is more than $675 billion to state and local governments each year from the federal government. Census results play a part in how that money gets spent.

For what it’s worth, the Census Bureau puts our nation’s population at more than 329 million and our state’s population, per a July 2019 estimate, at more than 10. 6 million.

As the Census Bureau states, yes, you are legally obligated to answer the American Community Survey. 

In less than three weeks, forms will be mailed out across the country. Responses can be done by mail, over the phone and, now with the growth of the Internet, online. 

The Census and its field workers won’t ask for your Social Security number. They won’t ask you anything on behalf of a political party. 

But take the time to answer the questions — how money gets spent in the future and how lines of representation are drawn depend on it.

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