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Census Day 2020 marks first year to report online

2020 Census Day in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s Census Day 2020, and everyone is being urged to respond.

By now most people have gotten census forms in the mail, but this is the first year you’ll be able to fill out the census online. Considering the social distancing guidelines in place, that may be the safest way to make sure you’re counted.

The census has been around for more than 200 years. It’s written into the Constitution. It’s the only way the nation can count everyone regardless of immigration status, citizenship or birthplace.

“Your responses are confidential by law. Your individual form cannot be shared with anyone, not even the president for 72 years,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a prerecorded video.

Hoosiers count.

“If we miss one person in Indianapolis or Marion County, we miss out on the $30,000 that would otherwise go to the community over the next decade,” said Callie Kennington with Count Me INdy!

In previous census years, workers have done a lot of door-to-door work. This year, there’s a bigger digital push. With coronavirus concerns, Count Me Indy! and similar organizations are urging people to respond online.

The census is suspending door-to-door work at least until April 15.

“We are really depending on everyone being counted within our city to make sure we get our fair share of the piece of the pie so to speak,” said Kennington.

The information collected matters a lot. It helps the federal government figure out how to spend $675 billion. The data helps determine how much money goes to things like education, housing, health care, transportation and emergencies.

“The census is also important because it determines how political power is distributed, everything from school boards to the City-County Council all the way to the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Hogsett in the prerecorded video.

Typically, the census count would wrap up at the end of July but has been extended until at least the end of August.