Members strategize for complete Henderson County count
HENDERSON COUNTY–The 2020 U.S. Census is around the corner, and members of the Henderson County/City of Athens Complete Count Committee met Feb. 5 to get ready for the final push to make sure every person is included.
The committee is co-hosted by Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas and Athens City Manager Elizabeth Borstad. Randy Portillo, Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Dallas Regional Center, led the committee’s second session at the Henderson County Annex in Athens.
The census determines apportionment of congressional representation, as well as how the federal government will distribute $675 billion to states and communities. Census mailings inviting households to participate start going out around mid-March. People can respond by mail, by phone or online.
Some households in rural areas, such as in southern Henderson County, will have census information delivered to their doorstep, Portillo said. Those include households that didn’t have their exact address confirmed previously by the Census Bureau.
To respond online, people will use an ID number included in their mailing, and if the questionnaire isn’t completed in a single session, the respondent must start over. Computers will be available to respond online at public libraries in Athens, Seven Points, Malakoff and Chandler, Portillo said.
Portillo warned that there have already been mailings and phone calls claiming to be census-related, but said those are scams to steal personal data. The Census Bureau urges those suspecting scams to contact Texas’ Regional Office in Denver at 1 (800) 852-6159 or the National Processing Center at 1 (800) 523-3205 or 1 (800) 642-0469) for verification.
Households that don’t respond in a timely manner – or with incomplete information – can expect a follow-up home visit from a census enumerator, Portillo said. The Census Bureau plans those home visits from May through July.