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Census mail to start arriving March 12

March is the month when United States Census information will begin arriving in mailboxes across the country, including right here in Coffee County.

Beginning March 12, households across Coffee County will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail that includes detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census either online, by phone or by mail. Responding is not a lengthy process.

The Census is conducted every 10 years, in accordance with the United States Constitution.

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“This is a very important Census for Coffee County,” said Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell. “It is of utmost important that everyone is accounted for. This data and these results will have a direct impact in our community for the next 10 years.”

If you do not receive census mail on March 12, there is no need to panic. It should arrive in your mailbox sometime between March 12-20.

This mail will be an invitation to respond to the Census. It will also include a Census ID that you can use to respond online. The 2020 Census is the very first that is allowing self-response online.

It is important to note that the invitation sent to each mailbox will be addressed to “resident,” and not to anyone personally.

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“You will receive a postcard invitation … a very basic general letter,” explained Tia Zanghi, partnership specialist with the Census for the Coffee County area. “It has a unique code. You type that into the website and that’s how you can complete online. But you do not have to have that unique code. You can actually do it with just your address.”

Census results impact many things, including congressional boundaries, business and industry relocation, grant allocations and federal funding for important projects, such as transportation and education.

“School districts are directly impacted by census data, so it is vital that everyone who resides in Manchester and Coffee County participate,” explained Dr. Joey Vaughn, director of Manchester City Schools. “Funding is based on total population, not just the number of children in the area. Our schools are working with families to make sure accurate information is distributed and encouraging everyone to participate.”

“You will receive a postcard invitation … a very basic general letter,” explained Zanghi. “It has a unique code. You type that into the website and that’s how you can complete online. But you do not have to have that unique code. You can actually do it with just your address.”

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Privacy and security concerns at ease

For those concerned with privacy, the U.S. Census is completely confidential and bound by Title 13.

Title 13 protects private information from being published and under the U.S. Code, Census workers take a lifetime oath of confidentiality as well.

By law, census responses cannot be used by any of the following agencies: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Those who violate Title 13 can face a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of $250,000, or both.

 “Your information is completely confidential,” reassured Zanghi. “It is protected by law. For 72 years your info is completely locked up. Whenever we submit this information to the president it will be in statistical form only”

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