Lake Co. Clerk’s Office Concerned About Low Census Response Rate

People have until September 30 to fill out the 2020 Census. And with time running out, the Lake County Clerk’s Office says they’re concerned about their less than 30% response rate.

“A lot of our critical areas in Lake County depend on the funding that would come from the census,” says Lake County Clerk Patti Pacola.

Pacola says so far, they’ve only had 26.5% of their population fill out the 2020 Census form – a percentage she says is worrisome.

“We have just this month to go and by the end of this month, we’ll be done with it and we’ll have to live with the next 10 years on what that outcome is,” says Pacola.

Every 10 years, the census determines what kind of funding an area is given. For every person that does not fill out their census, the county could loses nearly $2,000 every year for ten years.

Pacola says, “It’s only five or six questions; you can do it online, you can do it on paper, you can call a phone number and do it over the phone.”

Pacola says not filling census out could affect funding for roads, police and schools for the next 10 years.

Superintendent of Baldwin Community Schools Rick Heitmeyer says the census affects their Title 1 funding.

“Because we get a decent amount of Title 1 money, we are able to provide some resources for our students that other places are not necessarily able to do,” says Heitmeyer.

Pacola says filling out the census is opportunity to make Lake County better, and the only opportunity for the next 10 years.

Heitmeyer says, “We need people to be counted because it is just huge to have everybody accounted for.”