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Posted on: September 18, 2020

Mayor Victorino urges Maui County residents to be counted in U.S. Census

With the 2020 U.S. Census winding down, Mayor Michael Victorino is strongly urging all Maui County residents to participate in the decennial count of all U.S. residents to ensure our citizens get their fair share of U.S. federal funding and representation in Congress.

To respond to the U.S. Census online, go to 2020census.gov. The current deadline is Sept. 30, although it may be extended to Oct. 31.

“There’s $400 billion in federal funds distributed annually based on U.S. Census tract data, so there’s a lot at stake for Maui County to have everyone counted,” Mayor Victorino said. “We want to make sure all our residents have the opportunity to benefit from funds apportioned by population. Completing the Census is fast, easy and fully confidential.”

To ensure privacy, internet responses are encrypted, and it is a crime for Census officials to disclose personal data.

So far, Maui County has a self-response rate of 52.6 percent, 5 percent more than the previous high rate of 50 percent in 2000. The rate was 49 percent in 2010. Self-responses can be made by internet, mail or telephone.

The higher response rate is credited to the first-time addition of an online response option and having more people stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The credit goes to our County residents, the members of Maui County’s Complete Count Committee (CCC) that I formed in April 2019, and to the support given to the County by the State CCC and their consultant, the Hawaii Community Foundation,” Mayor Victorino said. “In addition, the federal Census Bureau has enumerators fanned out across our County to follow up in person with households who have yet to respond. This will increase our total responses.”

The Census Bureau has not yet indicated the percentage of enumerator-assisted responses for each County. That percentage would be added to Maui County’s self-response percentage.

Throughout the State of Hawaii, more than 360,000 households have responded, with 62.3 percent of residents self-responding and 35.9 percent assisted by enumerators, for a total percentage of 98.2 percent. The total percentage puts Hawaii in third place among all 50 states.

Nationally, 97.3 million households have responded to the census, with 65.8 percent in self-response and 26 percent enumerator-assisted, for a total of 91.8 percent. These figures are as of Sept. 13.

More than 200 enumerators have gone out across Maui County to knock on doors of residents who have not responded to the Census. They carry official credentials and equipment issued by the U.S. Census Bureau. Earlier this month, pop-up events were held on Molokai and in Paia and Kihei.

“We ask for everyone’s kokua in continuing to drive our State’s total percentage to as close to 100 percent as possible,” Mayor Victorino said.

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