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Fill Out, Mail Back Those Census Forms

Northern Panhandle residents often display a keen sense of what is good for us in terms of participation in government through activities such as voting. But sometimes, we fall short.

Federal officials will be conducting a census next year, as required every decade. Population numbers calculated through the program are important — bottom-line critical in some ways. They can affect how much federal funding our state, counties and cities receive.

In addition, the census will be critical for West Virginia. If our population falls below a certain point, we could lose one of our three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Imagine our shock, then, when we looked at a map published in last Sunday’s newspaper. It showed “hard-to-count communities in West Virginia,” where there are relatively low return rates for census forms mailed to most households.

One of the areas shown was northeast Ohio County. Another was northern Wetzel County.

For Pete’s sake, people! This is important. Census forms are not junk mail. They are not some nefarious method of government spying on us. They are a simple, critical count of population.

If you get a census form in the mail next year, fill it out and return it — for your and our own good.

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