Georgia could lose more than just Congressional money over the Census

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 4:21 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - You’ve been hearings ads for it and hear politicians say it all year: “fill out the Census.”

We know it's not the most exciting thing to talk about, but a community can suffer if not enough people respond.

It's just over a month until the 2020 Census is over. It ends Sept. 30 and volunteers are out in the community trying to count as fast as they can.

The Census isn't just a number -- it's a chance to improve.

"We had great momentum up until about the middle of March, and, of course, COVID-19 and the pandemic hit," Clint Bryant, the co-chair of Augusta's Complete Count Committee, said.

Bryant says Richmond County is lagging behind.

"We had a goal of 85 or 95 percent initially," Bryant said. "Right now, I would be satisfied with 75 percent."

It’s a big problem. Georgia officials say for every person who doesn’t fill out their Census, it’s about $2,300 that your city or county doesn’t get.

"That means more funding for education, more funding for new roads, transportation, even emergencies so better fire protection," Grovetown spokesperson Ashley Campbell said.

Campbell is helping count in person along with the Greater Augusta Interfaith Coalition.

"We need to reach the residents who don't use social media or may not look at the internet," Campbell said.

Sure, it's bad timing for a Census, but get counted now -- or at the current rate -- Georgia could lose a congressional seat.

Richmond County has nearly 200 people safely knocking on doors, and they’re even sending Census information through tax notices. All of that, but it’s as easy as it’s ever been.

"What's 6 to 8 minutes to complete, when there's so much on the line," Campbell said,

Census officials are encouraging everyone to speak out on social media and encourage your friends to fill it out online.

Volunteers will be back at city hall in Grovetown on Monday. They’ll be there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help you fill out your census.

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