Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Census 2020

Just as a Public Service Announcement: go fill out your Census information if you haven't. Why?

Well, there's the future planning: Census data is used to plan roadways, schools, it even figures into the permit process for hospitals and other necessities. The government (generally) won't approve a hospital to be built where the census shows there isn't enough population....so, fill it out for those plans

(Want to see traffic lights where there is high traffic instead of 4-Way stops? Anticipated population matters!)

There's federal budget money and state budget money that goes into the state or community based on...POPULATION. Where does that number come from? The Census. If you hide from the Census, they don't count you. Then, that funding goes elsewhere.

The big one, while some folks think it's the money, is this: while the US Constitution started off envisioning 1 Congressman for every 30,000 people, after a while the decision was made that we would have WAY too many Congressmen in that system. (Please hold your thoughts about having way too many as it is.)

Instead, there are 435 Members of Congress. They are apportioned to the States based on population: the overall population of the US goes into the math, which determines about how many people get one Representative (by the way, this trickles down to the State Legislature as well). Arkansas currently has 4 Representatives in Congress based on the 2010 Census numbers and our population.

What happens if we underreport Arkansas? That number could go down to three, with the district redrawn, and another state would pick up an additional Member of Congress.

That's not all: the States elect the President of the United States through the Electoral College. Each State gets as many Electors as they have Representatives and Senators. Again, here in Arkansas: 4 Representatives, 2 Senators. That makes for 6 Electors.

Undercount in the Census? That could go down to 5 votes for President in 2024 and 2028.

See why it matters?

And before you think ill thoughts: it's actually Constitutionally mandated: there must be an enumeration of people. It's in Article 1, Section 2.

So go here: https://2020census.gov/en.html and fill out your census. It takes less time than fixing coffee.

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