CLAYTON— The Rabun County Library now has three additional computers where residents can complete the 2020 United States Census.
The census is counted every 10 years and every resident is given one to complete.
These computers were purchased by the United States Census Bureau and are reserved solely for taking the census, said Kent Woerner, Rabun County Commissioner and Chairman of Rabun County’s Complete County Committee.
The state of Georgia has a Complete Count Committee and each county has its own as well.
Once the census period has concluded, the computers will be donated to the library for everyday use, he noted.
The deadline to complete the census was originally June 1 but has been extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They have extended it to the end of October right now,” Woerner said. He said the deadline to complete the 2020 Census is October 31.
This is the first year that the census will be completed online, and Woerner said that allotting these computers for the census will ensure everyone has online access.
Woerner said that it will ask questions about how many people live in your household, your race, education level, as well as other similar questions.
He said that the census would not ask for information like date of birth or SSN.
Woerner said that the federal government sends monies to states and those states divvy that money to the counties.
The census determines how monies are allocated over a 10-year period for projects like highways, infrastructure, the school system as well as other important developments.
“That’s why it’s so important,” Woerner emphasized. He said that the state looks at population size when distributing this funding.
“That’s how they determine the percentage we receive,” Woerner said. He said that residents should complete the census so that Rabun County gets adequate funding.
It also determines how the House of Representatives is apportioned and can change the makeup of a district where a representative might run.
“To set equal district representatives,” he clarified.
In 2010, Georgia gained one representative as a result of the census, according to Woerner.
Rabun County’s current completion rate is 35 percent, which is lower than most surrounding counties.
He said that in 2000, 45 percent of Rabun County residents completed the census and 2010 yielded 61 percent participation.
Woerner encouraged everyone to complete the census and said that the goal is to have greater participation.
He noted that you do not have to be a citizen to be counted and that any resident who lives in Rabun County 50 percent of the time or more can be counted in the census.
Boarding students and residential students can be counted in the survey as well, Woerner noted.
For more information on the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov.