WTVM Editorial 7-7-20: Why the census counts

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 12:25 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - 2020 is only half over and it’s already a year many of us would rather forget. With the ongoing pandemic and resulting economic problems, as well as nationwide unrest escalating to rioting in some areas, 2020 has not been the kindest year. But 2020 is actually a vitally important year for all of us.

That’s because it is a census year and you need to be counted.

Every 10 years, the U.S. counts its population and the numbers gathered in the census have real power.

Census results directly relate to the amount of representation we have in Congress as well as the amount of federal funding we receive to help our local community.

We cannot stress enough the need for all of us to be accurately counted in the census.

At the time of this reporting, only a disappointing 54 percent of Muscogee County residents have completed the census. In Lee County, Alabama the number is not much better. Their completion rate is only 57 percent.

In 2010, the last time we were all counted, only about 63 percent of Columbus residents completed the census. That left almost 40 percent of us uncounted and that does our area no good.

No one should be afraid of the census.

It only asks the most basic questions: like how many live in the household? No invasive personal or political questions.

The census takes less than five minutes to fill out, either online or on paper.

You will be hearing a lot about the Census on WTVM in the next few months as we try to actively help make sure you get counted. You will see stories in our newscasts explaining the census, how it works and why it is so important.

We will offer extensive information in live newscast interviews in the coming weeks and you can find answers to your census questions here.

With the Fourth of July holiday weekend coming up, we hope you are able to relax and spend time with friends and family.

And while you have a spare moment, please complete your 2020 census form online here.

It could not be easier. And it would be a shame if you leave yourself out of the count.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings an editorial a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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