Workers gathering information for the 2020 Census

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Spartanburg, S.C. (WSPA) – The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. Territories. To make sure the count is accurate, everyone needs to participate in the process.

Neighborhood address canvassing runs from August 4 through October 18.

The census helps to determine where federal money go and how districts are drawn. Simple questions like, “Do you rent or own?” and “Who lives in your home?” helps them determine that.

Federal law requires that each person respond and complete the census information.

While counting people shouldn’t be hard, getting that information could prove to be challenging for census workers.

For Spartanburg resident Richard Guinn, keeping his information safe and secure is important.

“I don’t really have a problem with it as long as it doesn’t get too detailed and people don’t get a hold of that information and then do the wrong thing with it.” Guinn said.

The census bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential. It’s also important to know that census workers should never ask for your social security number, bank account or credit card numbers. They should not ask for money or donations.

Officials said if someone asks you for one of these questions it’s a scam and you should not cooperate.

“I don’t particularly like someone just knocking on the door. I think they gotta really supply some verification, some identification,” said Spartanburg resident Wayne Hall.

If someone visits your home to collect information, make sure that they have a valid ID badge with their picture, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date.

“There are I think better ways we have tax forms, everybody files taxes that should tell us a little bit about everybody and that might alleviate some of the hassle,” Guinn said.

The census bureau will not contact you on behalf of a political party. However, the information collected helps to determine how many congressman a district will get.

It also helps figure out if a community needs a new fire department, funding for school lunches or new roads.

Census Day will be observed nationwide on April 1, 2020. By May of 2020, the census bureau will visit homes that haven’t responded to make sure everyone is counted.

For general questions, click here or call 301-763-INFO (4636) or 800-923-8282.

For information on services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call the TTY number at 800-877-8339 to reach the Federal Relay Service.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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