“It’s like we’re throwing a big party, and I get to help invite everyone,” I heard on a recent call. This party, which is neither face-to-face nor on Zoom, caught my interest, and I was encouraged to invite everyone I know, too. In fact, everyone living in the United States is invited. The party is the Census, and I’m helping pass out invitations. If you’ve already been to this party, thanks for stopping by and being counted!
This is one of the most, if not the most, important parties you can attend this decade, and you can do it safely from home! Being undercounted comes at a big cost. The basic information you report to the Census will determine how tax dollars (and medical supplies) are allocated to Maine and to our communities. It is estimated that every uncounted Mainer will result in a loss of $30,000 of federal funding to Maine over the next decade. The count will also determine our political representation. The results of the Census will help legislators in Augusta redraw Maine’s U.S. congressional and state legislative districts. This data matters.
Unfortunately, Maine has been a little late to the party. As of May 1, we were ranked 46th in the nation for reporting (tied with Wyoming), and Hancock County was 14th of our 16 counties, with just 30.5 percent reporting. The national rate was 55.6 percent. Ellsworth is the third lowest reporting incorporated city in the state. Help us do better!
If you have yet to complete your census, you have three options: online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or using the paper form you should have received in the mail last month. Your responses will be kept confidential. A small percent of possibly seasonal residences will not receive mail and will be contacted by Census staff when it is safe to visit homes again.
If you have completed your census, you can help us get the word out. Together, we can make sure everyone is counted and that Maine gets its fair share for the decade to come.
Rep. Nicole Grohoski