Polk wants 100 percent census return

Published 1:26 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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Workers still needed at $17 per hour 

COLUMBUS—A Polk County committee helping to get the 2020 Census filled out is asking the towns for their help. 

Columbus Town Council met last week and heard from Polk County Planner Cathy Ruth about the upcoming census. 

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The Polk County Board of Commissioners appointed a committee to get information out about the census, which will be effective April 1, and Ruth is the chair of the committee. 

Ruth said Polk County had one of the lowest census participation rates during the last census, with a 73-percent return. The U.S. Census affects representation in legislation, with Florida gaining two more seats during the last census. 

Ruth said the census will never ask for anyone’s social security number, never ask for money or a credit card number. 

Ruth said everyone will get a mailer with a code to go on the Internet this year and answer 10 questions. 

She is asking the towns if someone comes into town hall if they can have a computer available to help them. This is the first year the census will be done mainly online. Residents can still ask for one to be mailed to them. 

Ruth said the North Carolina governor said he would like to see an 80 percent return, but Polk County officials would like to see 100 percent locally. 

Ruth also said people who do not respond to the census will have someone come to their property five times, which will begin in May. 

There are also jobs still available locally, particularly in the Green Creek and Sunny View areas. Work will be available for approximately two months, but could be longer depending on area needs. 

Local libraries will have stations to help people fill out the census and mobile stations will be available as well. 

Requirements to work for the census include having a vehicle; being 18 years or older; being a U.S. citizen or have a green card and be bilingual and having an email address. 

The number of hours worked is flexible and can be up to 40 hours per week. The timeframe of work will be from now until August. 

To apply for a census job, people can visit 2020census.gov/jobs.