WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCBD) – U.S. Census takers will begin door-to-door visits across the Lowcountry in mid-August as they collect data meant to better communities.
The data is used to help officials determine allocations for local funding for schools, healthcare, disaster response efforts, and more than 50 other federal programs. For every person that files a census survey, the state receives about $3,000.
“If you take 100 people that don’t do their census and turn it in, over 10 years the state loses out on three million dollars – that’s a lot of money and that’s only with 100 people,” said Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette during a press conference in May.
Door-to-door surveys were suspended earlier in the year because of the coronavirus, moving the surveys to mail-in and online.
Lt. Gov. Evette said the move put South Carolina way behind in its reporting.
If you have not yet participated in the survey, Census takers will begin non-response follow up in South Carolina in the coming days.
“Your information is such an important part of the 2020 Census, that if you haven’t responded on your own, we send census takers to help make sure you are counted,” said officials with the City of Walterboro.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The health and safety of staff and the public will be a top priority. All staff will receive safety training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. They are expected to wear masks and follow local health guidelines.
Census takers are hired from your area, and their goal is to help you and everyone in your home be counted in the 2020 Census. If the census taker who visits your home does not speak your language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak your language.
Officials say if someone visits your home to collect information for the 2020 Census, you should first check to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date.
Workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.
Census takers work between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., including weekends. If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact your Regional Census Center to speak with a Census Bureau representative: https://2020census.gov/en/census-takers.html.
You can fill out your Census survey online right now by visiting 2020census.gov to avoid a visit at home.