You can still be counted

It's not too late to respond to the census

Maybe you missed the Mariners’ call to action. Maybe you didn’t see Pearl Jam’s request that fans raise a hand and be counted.

April 1 passed by, and you didn’t fill out your census form.

Not to worry.

Though Census Day is April 1, it's not the deadline. The Census Bureau uses the first of April as a reference day to count where is everyone at the same point in time.

In case there's a reason you haven't filled it out, the Census Bureau has removed all obstacles to responding:

  • Never received an invitation or lost your ID. You can respond with just your address.
  • Need a paper form. They will be mailed to non-responders soon.
  • Worried your responses will reduce your stimulus check or be used against you. There is a rumor going around that census responses might be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits, including any potential stimulus package. This is false. The Census Bureau is legally obliged to keep your information confidential. Check out this and other census rumors.
  • Don't have time. It takes no more than 10 minutes. Want proof? Preview the census questions here. This writer clocked her two-person household at eight minutes—less time than it takes cook a frozen pizza.
  • Just plain forgot. The Census Bureau will continue sending out reminders. Eventually, Census workers will go to the homes of non-respondents. But during these shelter-in-place times, it’s best to answer online (https://2020census.gov), by phone (844-330-2020) or by mail.
  • Any other questions? Visit the Help and FAQs page.

The census matters because billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated across the U.S. based on its data. Congressional districts are adjusted with the once-a-decade counts, and so are Electoral College votes for presidential elections. Plus, communities use it to plan for needs such as emergencies, schools, transportation, and healthcare.

If you're inspired to do more than fill out a form, consider entering the Census Bureau's Get out the Count Video Challenge. The best video submitted by April 17 will win $30,000.

For motivation, check out this Tacoma Refugee Choir video.

As they say, take a moment and shape the next ten years.

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