Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Residents urged to complete census

 

August 19, 2020



New Mexico’s governor and director of state personnel urged residents to fill a U.S. census form before a Sept. 30 deadline or the state potentially could lose out on millions of dollars in federal funding for a decade.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during a Thursday briefing just 53.6% had submitted their data to the U.S. Census, ranking last of the 50 states.

Pamela Coleman, director of state personnel, said residents should fill out the form online by going to 2020census.gov or calling (844) 330-2020 within the next six weeks.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced earlier this month it would end all counting for the 2020 census by Sept. 30, about a month earlier than expected.

She said New Mexico receives about $7.8 billion in federal funds each year. Coleman said each person who’s not counted in the census held every 10 years could cost the state $1 million each. That could mean fewer hospital beds, firetrucks and vaccines for certain regions, she said.

“We stand to leave money on the table,” Coleman said.

Coleman said census data is protected by federal law and cannot be used for nefarious purposes.

She said those who fill out the census form online won’t receive a house visit from a census worker, which she deemed important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked by a reporter about reports of intimidation of census workers, Coleman said: “It’s beyond wrong; it’s unconstitutional.”

Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires a periodic “enumeration” of every person in the United States to determine the distribution of political representation.

 
 

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