Alabama lagging behind in 2020 census response

This Sunday, April 5, 2020, photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a...
This Sunday, April 5, 2020, photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. The U.S. Census Bureau has spent much of the past year defending itself against allegations that its duties have been overtaken by politics. With a failed attempt by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question, the hiring of three political appointees with limited experience to top positions, a sped-up schedule and a directive from President Donald Trump to exclude undocumented residents from the process of redrawing congressional districts, the 2020 census has descended into a high-stakes partisan battle.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama has the nation’s lowest census response. It’s the only state in the country with a response rate lower than 80-percent. Meaning we could lose more than 39 million federal dollars if more people don’t respond by September 30th.

Filling out a census is crucial to determine how federal funding is distributed to our communities. It will impact our schools, roads, and representation in Washington.

How much money we receive is based on population and demographics. Companies look at the census data to determine if they want to do business in Madison County and the surrounding North Alabama area.

The census data also determines the number of congressional seats delegated to Alabama. We currently have seven congressional representatives, but if more people don’t fill the census out it means we could lose one of those seats in Washington.

“Huntsville is a big federal center,” said James Vandiver planner with the City of Huntsville. “We enjoy having the federal representation we have in the state. Also, the funding that impacts, we talk about the education, transportation funding. It impacts everyone. This is our one chance every 10 years to make it right.”

You have until September 30th to fill out your census. You can do it online, over the phone, or fill out a paper mail in forum.

No matter how you chose to fill it out, remember under law it mandatory to do so and no one will ever ask about immigration or financial status.

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