Making Democracy Work



Census The U.S. Census is required under the U.S. Constitution to occur every 10 years and is the process of counting every resident in the country. For the first time ever, in 2020 the Census will be primarily digitally based.

Why it matters The U.S. Census data is used to make decisions around education, healthcare, infrastructure, and political representation. With increased growth in the country, getting an accurate and complete count of every person living within is crucial to ensure that each state receives funding to support the number of residents in each state. This Census the focus continues to be on reaching hard to count communities and ensuring these communities get included in the Census count.

What we're doing The League of Women Voters is partnering with the Census to encourage people to fill out the forms.

Latest Updates

APRIL 13, 2020
Release Number CB20-RTQ.16

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham Statement on 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

The 2020 Census is underway and more households across America are responding every day. Over 70 million households have responded to date, representing over 48% of all households in America. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
  • Implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities.
  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

The Census Bureau temporarily suspended 2020 Census field data collection activities in March. Steps are already being taken to reactivate field offices beginning June 1, 2020, in preparation for the resumption of field data collection operations as quickly as possible following June 1.
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March 12, 2020
Dear Census Partner,

The 2020 Census is now available online at!

As your Partnership Specialist contact, I wanted to thank you for your partnership in encouraging your constituents to complete the questionnaire. The most accurate response is a self response and an early response helps to ensure that no one will come knocking on your community members' doors starting in mid May.

With respect to COVID-19, Census 2020 is moving ahead according to plan. The Census Bureau will follow the guidance of Federal, State, and local health authorities.

Some resources and answers to recently and frequently asked questions:

1) What does the Invitation to Respond envelope look like? See visuals of our Census 2020 mailings here:

2) Can I answer the questionnaire without the code in the Invitation to Respond? Yes! Visit to complete the questionnaire with or without a code.

3) Will my geographic area receive the paper form first or only the invitation to respond? Take a look at the Mail Contact Strategies Viewer -- if your census tracts are in green then your area will receive the invitation to respond and the paper questionnaire in the first mailing. Remember, anyone who does not respond by phone or online will receive a paper questionnaire as part of their 4th mailing.

4) I like the paper questionnaire. Will I need to pay to mail it back? No, it has postage on the return envelope and is ready to mail.

5) What are the Census phone numbers?

6) What if more than 10 people are in my household? It is best to answer online or by phone for a larger household as you may include up to 99 people in your response.

7) Where can I find language assistance for the census? See print guides in 59 languages here.

8) When will I be able to see how well my community is responding? As of March 20th you will be able to Census Self-Response Rates here:

9) Will the Census Bureau provide staff at my agency to help my community complete the census? We are staffing Census Response Representatives (CRR) mostly in areas predicted to have a low response rate from March 12 through March 30th. After March 30th, we will deploy CRRs only in areas of low self-response for Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (please see attached flyer regarding MQA).

We will continue to respond with Partnership Specialist staff to support events as available throughout the self response period. Census Takers also known as enumerators will begin non-response follow-up in early May. Please feel free to reach out to me about upcoming events.

Thank you for being a trusted voice in your community and for motivating and energizing your constituents to complete the 2020 Census. I look forward to hearing from you!

Respectfully, Debb

Debborah Smith Partnership Specialist New York Region U.S. Census Bureau 475-882-9773

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In the Press

Voting Matters: Census connects federal money and your taxes
Special to The Westerly Sun, March 19, 2020 By Marguerite Long, Chairwoman of the Voter Registration Committee, League of Women Voters South County

The U.S. Constitution provides for a population count every 10 years; that is, a count of everyone regardless of citizenship residing in the U.S. It is known as the U.S. Census. (Article 1, Section 2). The Census determines the number of representatives each state can send to Congress in Washington, D.C., and also determines the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars of federal spending...
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