Census

The Census Bureau requires that census takers wear a mask while conducting their work. Workers will also follow local public health guidelines when they visit. Submitted / U.S. Census Bureau

The Town of Eclectic is notifying residents there is woman named Brenda Henson who is driving a silver SUV around the town collecting census information.

She may drive around slowly and look suspicious, according to information from the town. But her vehicle is clearly marked, identifying her as a 2020 census worker. Residents are asked to welcome her and answer her questions, as it will take only about five minutes.

She is visiting the homes of those who have not completed the 2020 census. She may also call from an 800-phone number. To avoid a visit from Henson, residents are advised to go to 2020census.gov to complete the 2020 census today.

“Eclectic's count is still very low and we really need your help,” reads a message on the town’s Facebook page.

As of Wednesday, Eclectic’s self-response rate was 65.8% and the state’s was 61.6%. Ideally, municipalities strive for response rates in the range of 80 to 100%.

Every 10 years the United States conducts a count of every person living in the nation and its five territories.

The results determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. The information is also used to define congressional and state legislative districts.

Alabama is in danger of losing one, possibly two, U.S. House seats as a result of the 2020 census, which is why municipalities are strongly urging residents to complete the form.

Alabama could also lose out on billions of dollars in federal money that’s used to fund education initiatives, infrastructure improvements, hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, assistance programs for the elderly and so much more.

For each Elmore County resident who does not respond to the census, the county loses roughly $1,500 in funding. For a family of four, that amounts to $6,000 lost every year for a period of 10 years.