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Census workers pound pavement as deadline looms

Census workers continue to pound the pavement, from Scranton to Stroudsburg and beyond, trying to meet a fast-approaching deadline: the end of this month.

SCRANTON, Pa. — "It's important, and this is the last push until September 30th when we show out all our collection of the data for the 2020 Census," said Michael Cook of the U.S. Census Bureau.

It is information about how many people live in the nation, used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, and to calculate money those areas get in federal funding.

"They've estimated that it's more than $1.5 trillion every single year in federal funds for much needed for schools, roads, hospitals — and given this current unfortunate pandemic — for emergency funding," said Cook.

If you have not filled out the census form or done it by phone or online, workers may be coming to your house to get that information before time runs out.

Government officials said some census takers knock on the same door half a dozen times to get information.

They promise that information stays private and is not shared with any law enforcement agencies, for example.

"The census takers will have picture IDs on them as official census employees as well they will be carrying an iPhone 8 so if you see them pull out an iPhone and start punching things in as they ask you those questions, that's part of our operation."

Census officials said responses in some communities are better than others.

Statewide, they say more than 64 percent of people have submitted their census information.

"The total response for all of Pennsylvania is actually at 82 percent, so that's adding in not just that self-response rate but the people that have actually counted households since we started our door-knocking back on August 9."

Census takers will be leaving reminder cards on doors when no one answers.

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