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Census Bureau needs more Stanly citizens to apply to become enumerators

The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for more Stanly County citizens to apply for a chance to become local enumerators — the people who go door-to-door collecting household and demographic information from families.

The bureau is hoping for roughly 450 people to apply to become enumerators. Around 175 people have already submitted applications.

From 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 28, the NC Works will have a bus parked in front of the YMCA on North First Street, where people can fill out an application online for the chance to become enumerators.

The population count is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, which is a nonpartisan government agency, according to the Census website. The census has been taken every 10 years since 1790.

The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

By April 1, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the census. People will have three options to respond to the census — online, by phone or by mail. People will be allowed to respond to the census on their phones.

Applicants chosen to become enumerators will be trained in the coming months and will begin in May. They will visit homes that have not responded to the census.

They will work part-time, between 20 to 40 hours a week, and will receive up to $16 per hour plus mileage for their vehicle. They also take an oath to not disclose the data.

In a meeting with the county commissioners a few months ago, Peter Sabo, a North Carolina specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, explained the goal is to have 82 percent of people in the county respond to the census.

He said the Census Bureau is specifically trying to target children under 5, veterans, homeless, people living in rural areas and people without computers.

A map provided by Sabo during the meeting showed a higher percentage of people in Albemarle, around 25 percent, did not respond to the last census. The numbers in the rural areas of the county was about 18 percent.

The results gathered during the census determine the numbers of representatives each state will have in Congress and are used by states to draw state legislative and school district lines. The results are also used to help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds annually are spent across the country. Those funds are used for services like emergency response and fire departments, medical assistance and highways and roads.

To apply for a chance to become a enumerator, visit 2020census.gov.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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