COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette urged South Carolinians to participate in the 2020 Census during a press conference Wednesday in Columbia.
Evette was appointed by Governor Henry McMaster to promote and encourage residents to participate in the effort.
During the conference, which was focused on COVID-19 recovery efforts, Lt. Gov. Evette said South Carolina is 39th in the country for self-reporting, which she said is not a good place to be.
“We need to make sure that everybody understands why the census is so important,” she said.
Census data is used to help officials determine allocations for local funding for schools, healthcare and disaster response efforts and more than 50 other federal programs. For every person that files a census survey, the state receives about $3,000.
“If you take 100 people that don’t do their census and turn it in, over 10 years the state loses out on three million dollars – that’s a lot of money and that’s only with 100 people,” she said.
Many efforts to have all citizens fill out the survey were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, like door-to-door census survey takers.
Evette said that has put the state far behind in its reporting.
Community leaders from more than 200 non-profit organizations along with leaders from every state government agency and local governments are working together through the statewide commission and local complete count committees.
The state is also working with religious leaders and institutions to help make sure people have the opportunity and necessary access to fill out their survey.
A promotional video featuring entertainers and politicians is being released to promote the need for South Carolinians to participate in the census. Evette said U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Grammy Award-winning musician Darius Rucker will have a role in that video.
You can fill out your Census survey by visiting 2020census.gov.