The U.S. Census Bureau has begun door-to-door canvassing in Broward County to count residents who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census questionnaire.
Census takers come from the local community and undergo a background check before being hired. However, it is important for residents to determine the legitimacy of the Census taker by verifying the following:
- The Census taker is wearing an ID badge that includes the census taker’s name, photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
- Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Census taker will be wearing a mask. Please wear a mask when speaking with the Census taker.
- The Census taker will have an official bag and Census Bureau-issued electronic device, such as a laptop or smartphone, bearing the Census Bureau logo.
- Census takers and field representatives will conduct their work between the hours of 9am and 9pm, local time.
The door-to-door canvassing effort occurs across the nation toward the end of the Census self-response period and helps boost response rates in communities with an undercount. The canvassing effort is particularly important for Broward County as self-response rates here are just under 60%, lower than both the state and national response rates.
Response rates are low in many communities across Broward County, including those with high populations of Spanish- and Creole-speaking residents who may not be aware that the Census can be completed in numerous languages, online or over the phone.
Broward County District 1 Commissioner Nan Rich, Chair of the Broward County Complete Count Committee, said the COVID-19 pandemic has been in large part responsible for the lower than normal self-response rate in Broward. It resulted in the cancelation of numerous public outreach and grassroots activities over the last few months designed to help educate residents on the importance of the census.
An undercount can result in the loss of millions of dollars in federal and state funding for local programs over the next 10 years that impact all our lives, from newborns to seniors, and everyone in between. That includes funding for social services, transportation, hospitals, nursing homes, education and emergency services, including those that help us deal with crises like COVID-19 and hurricanes.