We’re getting close to the U.S. Census Bureau deadline, and we all must count on each other being counted. As we get closer to Election Day on Nov. 3, it’s also a good time to make sure you’re registered to vote.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and a host of parish and local officials have been pounding the drum and pushing out the word nearly every day, during news conferences, on social media and at community events. Edwards has added census count robocalls to his arsenal to get attention, and to get the numbers up.
It’s not enough. More must be done. We’re running out of time. The official, scheduled Sept. 30 deadline was extended to October 31 when a federal judge ruled late Thursday that the count should continue for another month.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Councilmember Helena Moreno are hosting a census count and voter registration and information drive-thru Saturday morning at Champions Square by the Louisiana Superdome. From 9 a.m. until noon, all residents can get assistance to be counted — and all eligible citizens can register to vote, ask for an absentee ballot and sign up to be a poll worker.
Only census workers can assist with the census forms since the entire process is strictly confidential and none of your personal information is shared with employers, landlords, the Internal Revenue Service or ICE.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome is hosting Scotland Saturday, a Healthy Baton Rouge Tailgate event at the Scotland Plaza on Scotland Avenue. The focus is on making the state’s capital city healthy, but the mayor knows how important registering voters is, so there will be voter registration opportunities during the 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. activity.
Jefferson Parish officials have been pushing the census and voter registration with an “I Count” team in action at food distribution and COVID testing sites as well as other events. There's a voter registration drive Saturday at the Gretna Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The census is conducted once every decade to accurately count our nation’s residents. The census doesn’t require citizenship, only breathing and living on U.S. soil on April 1.
The more people counted in our state, our 64 parishes, our municipalities and communities, the more federal money we can expect from the $1.5 trillion available for such things as fire and police departments, school lunch programs, senior citizen services, housing and transportation needs, Medicare support and disaster and emergency response support.
We’re used to storms wreaking havoc, making it easy to see some of the benefit. It’s the millions spent on other needs that some of us don’t see as connected to census data, but it’s that data that is used to determine how much should be provided.
Whether you visit the Baton Rouge, New Orleans or Gretna events, go online to be counted or register to vote with the Secretary of State's office. Make time to take care of this important part of being good citizens.