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Census process underway

Most households in Harrison County have already received their census form, with a few already completed and returned.
Harrison County Auditor Pat Wolfe said as of Friday the county had returned 32 percent of its census forms, which was above the state (26 percent) and national average (19 percent) at the time.
‘That’s really exciting,’ Wolfe said.
Residents have until May 1 to return the completed 10-question census form.
Bob Voll, Census representative from Greenville, has been stationed at the county commissioners’ office on the first floor of the Harrison County Court House in downtown Corydon throughout the week to answer questions about the Census form. Voll has forms in six different languages to help residents.
‘It’s very important to ensure we get the right representation,’ Voll said.
Voll said he has had many people visit him who did not receive a Census form in the mail. If that is the case, he said anyone can come by and pick up a form at his temporary office location in Corydon. Voll’s hours are 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday. Voll will be at the site, which is the small office across from the county engineer’s office on the first floor, each week until April 19.
‘If you need any help, I’m here to help,’ he said.
Wolfe, who also serves as the county’s contact person for the census, said for each person who throws the questionnaire away, nearly $900 is lost for the county per year for 10 years.
The census is ‘very important for the county,’ Wolfe said. ‘Everything is based on the census. We’ll have to live with the results for 10 years.’
Results of the census will affect political representation and direct the allocation of billions of dollars in government funding to grants for schools, health programs, stimulus packages, sewer systems, roads and fire departments.
Each year, more than $300 billion in federal funding is awarded to states and communities based on census data, which amounts to more than $3 trillion during the 10-year period the date is used (the U.S. Constitution mandates a census be conducted every 10 years). The data is used to reveal the most need for additional social services and determines who receives community development block grants and other grant programs essential to communities.
Other than federal funding, the census provides valuable planning information for local officials to determine where to build new roads, hospitals and schools. And finally, the data collected in a census also determines how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Wolfe said many people are hesitant to fill out the census because they ‘don’t want people knowing their business.’
‘The census is a very common thing,’ she said. ‘It’s the only way to keep track of how many citizens are in the country.’
More information about the 2010 Census can be found online at 2010census.gov.

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