KEYSER - The Mineral County Commission was introduced to updated information this week concerning the 2020 United States Census from a representative from that agency, Steven Swingle, U.S. Army Retired.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - The Mineral County Commission was introduced to updated information this week concerning the 2020 United States Census from a representative from that agency, Steven Swingle, U.S. Army Retired.
Swingle, serving as a partnership specialist at the Philadelphia Regional Census Center, said a goal of the 2020 Census will be to “count everyone once, and only once.”
He explained that obtaining a correct number of citizens will be used to determine the funding programs, including Head Start, Foster Parents, nutritional programs, and others.
Swingle mentioned that the 2016 American Communities Survey was completed with many hundreds of citizens not counted, which he said was equal to “millions of dollars” needed for the programs.
He desires for the 2020 Census to have the population to “get behind the program,” as he named groups such as community leaders, the church, and school systems.
Swingle also said that the census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, every ten years, and in the states, the number of residents counted is used to base the number of the state’s congressional seats.
He said that during the last census, “Elk Garden had the lowest rate of responses, and Keyser was close to that number.”
Encouraging county citizens to report the needed census information, Swinger said that this may be accomplished through the internet.
He added the federal government is pushing this method of submitting census information.
Other ways of reporting the census information is by telephone or use of a hard copy.
The time needed to answer questions from a census worker going door to door is less than 20 minutes.
Swingle stated, “There are stiff penalties” for the workers that release any information taken during the census expect to the government agencies.
He said that many temporary jobs are available through the 2020 Census, with some lasting up to two years. The jobs include census takers, office operations, and field supervisors, and this process of hiring will soon start.
Asking for support from the county commissioners, Swindle suggested such help as a space for training census workers, promotional support, and making sure citizens participate in the 2020 Census.
He also wanted to have approval from the commissioners to declare a proclamation dealing with the 2020 Census in Mineral County, and commissioner Richard Lechliter said that information will be available within a week.