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Census entering next step Tuesday

NEW ULM — The last phase of the 2020 Census will begin next week. Census workers will begin door knocking on Tuesday, Aug. 11 to survey households that have not filled out Census forms.

Households that have already completed the 2020 Census will be skipped by census workers, but those who not filled on the census online, by mail or over the phone may expect a visit.

New Ulm City Planner John Knisley wanted to alert residents that census workers would be in the community. With the current climate surrounding COVID-19, people might be concerned about unknown people knocking on their door.

In New Ulm, approximately 78% of households have filled out the Census. Knisley said the Census Bureau knows which households have not responded, but does not know how many people live in these homes. An accurate number of household members is needed because it impacts the amount of federal money allocated to Minnesota, but could also impact representation in Congress.

Knisley said Minnesota is at risk for losing a congressional district because the state’s population is not growing exponentially like other states. That is why the Census mustn’t miss counting a single person.

Knisley said Minnesota is already leading the nation in Census response. Minnesota has a 73% response rate, while the national average is 63%.

The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years, but this has been a strange year. Additional options for filling out the Census were implemented this year including the online survey, but COVID-19 has made the options more vital. People without access to a computer with the internet can use the computer at the New Ulm Public Library.

Census workers will begin doorknocking Tuesday. In past Census years, workers would have until the end of October to canvass the community, but with this Census workers have only until Sept. 30 to complete the count.

All census workers should have a badge with name and photo identification.The badge will have an expiration date and a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark. Census workers typically carry other bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo. All Census workers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines. Census workers will only knock on doors between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

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