State leaders are laying out a plan to get the most accurate population count for next year's national census. Gov. Mike DeWine says the stakes are high for the census commission to overcome challenges and make sure every Ohioan is counted.
The 2020 census will determine how much money the state will get in federal funds, such as health care, education, and transportation. It will also decide how many representatives the state will have in the U.S. House.
The Ohio Census 2020 Complete Count Commission will identify strategies and local networks within communities around the state that can help ensure that everyone is counted.
DeWine says there are several challenges to getting an accurate number.
"People who are moving around, you have concerns about the homeless, you have concerns about college students, the poor. These are groups that are many times undercounted," says DeWine.
The commission says Ohioans will have the ability to submit their census information online, by phone, or through a paper form.
DeWine recognizes that there is a reluctance from people to respond to census takers. He says, "There is kind of a built-in suspicion that peoples have in regards to the census and we hope that folks that are in this room and others will be able to deal with the fears the people might have in regards to that."
The commission says one of its main goals is to ensure the process is secure so the information remains confidential.