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Saturday, April 20, 2024


League Learns About 2020 Census

Lori Carlin

By Erin Ledwon

NORTH WILDWOOD – “It’s not a joke,” Lori Carlin, partnership specialist for Atlantic and Cape May counties, U.S. Census Bureau, told Cape May County League of Municipalities Nov. 26 at The Inlet on Olde, North Wildwood, regarding the 2020 census.
The census, conducted every 10 years since 1790, determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. New Jersey has lost seats over the last several censuses, according to Carlin, going from 15 to 12 seats, based on population count.
“When that happens, we get redistricted,” said Carlin, referring to congressional and state legislative districts, school districts and voting precincts.
She also noted that $675 billion in federal funding is at stake, as the census determines the annual allocation of that funding.
“What does that mean to you,” asked Carlin. “It’s our school lunches, it’s our non-profits, it’s our firehouses, it’s our police, it’s our roads getting fixed.”
Census Day is April 1, 2020. This is the first time that the census can be completed online. It can also be completed via phone or mail.
There are 12 non-English languages available for those responding to the census online and by phone, as well as 59 non-English language guides, including American Sign Language, braille and large print.
Most homes should receive an invitation to participate by April 1, 2020. Once received, they should expect to disclose where they live, as of that date.  
Those who do not respond should expect a home visit from a census taker, beginning in March, and continuing through July.
The Census Bureau will then deliver apportionment counts to the president and Congress by Dec. 31, 2020. Redistricting counts will be sent to states by April 1, 2021.
Carlin urged municipalities to get the word out about the census through events and email blasts, as well as to post census information on their websites and social media pages. She suggested getting volunteers to be at libraries April 1, 2020, having phones available, and going to areas that are hard to reach, like senior centers, to help people complete the census.
It can be difficult to get some to complete the census due to privacy concerns, noted Carlin, but responses are protected by federal law (Title 13), and are only used to produce statistics. Personal information can’t be shared with any government agency or court, and Census Bureau employees are sworn to protect confidentiality for life.  
Violating Title 13 is a federal crime, with severe penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000 or both.
Carlin also noted that safeguards will be used online (cybersecurity), including data encrypted to protect privacy, restricted access and firewalls. “It’s amazing the precautions they’re taking now,” she said.
Looking for a job? The Census Bureau is hiring, according to Carlin. Available positions include census takers/enumerators, area census office clerical positions, office operations supervisors, census field supervisors, and recruiting assistants. Those interested can apply online at
There are also thousands of jobs available through, said Carlin, including partnership and area census office management positions. 
Those interested in partnering with the Census Bureau to help distribute information, can go to, where they will find promotional materials and content, including flyers, fact sheets, posters, toolkits, social media content and links, sample messages and graphics.
For more information, visit  

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