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Prepping for the census count


LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — There is a lot riding on the 2020 census count. Because of population declines, New York stands to lose one or two members of the U.S. House of Representatives after the count. The count also determines the amount of federal aid the state receives for programs that are funded based on population.

In advance of the count by the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB), New York State has formed the Complete County Commission. In a press release, commission co-chair and president of the Rockefeller Institute of Government Jim Malatras said, “Our commission is committed to finding all New Yorkers and getting them to participate in this crucial part of our democracy. This is important work that impacts residents in New York State and we look forward to hearing more ideas on how we can get everyone counted.”

The commission scheduled six public meetings across the state to have officials explain the work that the state has done so far in trying to assure every person in the state is counted. One of those meetings was held at SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake on March 20. For the last census in 2010, Sullivan County had the lowest participation rates of all counties in the state after Brooklyn.

Frank Winters, a NYS geographic information officer, addressed the audience and said that there are about 11 million addresses in the state. He said that Sullivan County officials had informed USCB of over 1,800 addresses in the county that USCB were not aware of. Also, there were 1,200 addresses the did not exist or had been changed.

Winters said that, statewide, New York officials found either additions or corrections to 380,000 addresses; statewide county officials had over 400,000 and New York City had 122,000 for a total of about 992,000. He said that put the state in a good position compared to other states. California, for instance, had only about 100,000 additions or corrections.

He also said that the USCB will now either accept or reject those additions or corrections. If USBC rejects some of them, the state may appeal that decision.

If the state has information that someone is living in an address, such as records like vehicle registrations and utility bills, that has been rejected, Winters said the state will appeal.


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