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PNS Daily Newscast - August 5, 2020 


A massive explosion kills dozens and injures thousands in Beirut; and child care is key to getting Americans back to work.


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Election experts testify before the US House that more funding is necessary. And Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state had primaries yesterday; Hawaii and Tennessee have them later this week.

Not Too Late to Avoid In-Person Census Visits

The pandemic forced the U.S. Census Bureau to extend the deadline for self-reporting in the once-a-decade tally of all people living in the United States to Oct. 31. (U.S. Census Bureau)
The pandemic forced the U.S. Census Bureau to extend the deadline for self-reporting in the once-a-decade tally of all people living in the United States to Oct. 31. (U.S. Census Bureau)
July 31, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. - Census workers soon will be heading into Nebraska neighborhoods to ensure that people who have not yet responded to the 2020 census are counted in the once-a-decade tally mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Households can avoid in-person visits and save taxpayer dollars by filling out their form online at my2020census.gov.

David Drozd, research coordinator at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Center for Public Affairs Research, said the Census Bureau is more likely to get better data if people fill out the ten minute form on their own.

"There's a natural hesitancy to talk to somebody who's trying to gather information," said Drozd. "You might have something on the stove, or a child crying, something that distracts you from taking all the time you need to fill out the question."

As many as 14,400 Nebraska residents are at risk of be undercounted in 2020, according to estimates by the Urban Institute.

The Trump administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the census, a move blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court, is cited as one reason communities of color might go uncounted. A recent survey found that half of respondents did not know the question had been removed.

In 2017, Nebraska saw nearly $8 billion federal tax dollars return to the state based on census numbers for education, health care, seniors and other programs.

Drozd said it's important for all residents, regardless of their citizenship status, to be counted. He said the Census Bureau is legally bound to keep all personal information private; it cannot be shared with ICE or any other government agency.

"So it definitely was a concern that our communities of color would have lower response rates," said Drozd. "But so far we are seeing quite respectable response rates."

Drozd explained the data collected is general - showing how many women, for example, live in a certain ZIP code, but not where any specific woman lives.

In addition to the disbursement of federal funds, census numbers also are used to determine congressional representation. The latest tally shows nearly 68% of Nebraska households have completed the census form, above the national response average of just over 62%.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - NE