The City of Crossett and the Crossett Public Library are hosting a U.S. Census drive and giving away prizes to encourage citizens to fill out their 2020 census.
City officials said they not only wanted to find a way to offer aid to those filling out the census, but also wanted to help people better understand the importance of the census.
“I think it’s important that we stress how important it is that everyone be counted,” Crossett Mayor Crystal Marshall said. “The census helps determine how federal dollars flow to communities for the next decade.”
The census results directly impact the funds that each city receives for governments, hospitals, fire departments, and other critical programs and services.
“You are paying taxes, being counted makes sure you get the benefit of them in your community,” Marshall said.
The census results also influence highway planning, Head Start programs, housing for the elderly, school lunches and mental health services.
It likewise determines congressional representation.
There are now two census kiosks — one located at City Hall and one at the Crossett Public Library — that are available for use.
The form asks simple questions and no identification is required. The form does not ask for a social security number, payment of any type or political affiliation.
Marshall said it costs nothing to fill it out and applicants do not need to bring any documentation or anything with them. Census answers are also completely confidential.
Those who complete their census at one of these locations will be entered into a drawing to win a weekly prize.
“If you are here, make sure you are counted because you matter,” Marshall said.
The census is mandated every 10 years the U.S Constitution.
Officials with the U.S. Census Bureau said the bureau has worked diligently since 2010 to ensure that responding to the 2020 Census is easy, safe and important because it is key to shaping the future of communities.
Almost 52 percent of households have responded to the 2020 Census in Ashley County, Arkansas since invitations began arriving in mailboxes March 12 to 20. Across the state the response rate is approximately 57 percent.
Nationally, approximately 62 percent of people have responded. Response rates are updated in the map daily seven days a week at 2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html.
The Census Bureau is strongly encouraging the public to respond to the 2020 Census online using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Responses online or by phone can be completed in English or 12 other languages. There are also 59 non-English language guides and videos — plus American Sign Language — available on 2020census.gov
Households that have not responded online or by phone have now received a paper questionnaire. Responding now will minimize the need for a census taker to follow up and visit residences in August.
Linda Gladden of the U.S. Census Bureau contributed to this report.