Responding to the census questionnaire online is easy and safe

To the Editor:

The United States Census has been conducted every 10 years since the founding of our nation, as required by Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Having that information about who lives where in the United States allows our federal, state, and local governments to determine what areas will receive the most representation and financial assistance.

In the village of Altamont, the more people we have, the more represented and better compensated we are. It’s that simple.

The upcoming 2020 Census will be done differently than in the past, creating new challenges for communities like Altamont. People will be asked first to complete the census form online, rather than depend solely on paper questionnaires and in-person interviews as in the past.

There will be traditional paper forms that can be submitted as well, but the easiest and fastest way to participate is by Internet. (Submitting your answers by phone will also be an option.)

For those who don’t complete the census online, by paper form, or by phone, a census worker will knock on their door to get answers for the form. When you respond by any of these methods, be sure to use your current address as of April 1, 2020.

The initial mailings to households will be sent in the period of March 12 to 20, 2020. On April 1, 2020, Census Day will be observed nationwide.

By this date, every home will have received the invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. In the month of April 2020, for households that do not complete the census forms after the first mailing, census workers will make multiple attempts to contact you by mail or phone. In May, 2020, the Census Bureau will begin visiting addresses that haven’t yet responded.

Responding to the census questionnaire online is easy and safe, and should not take more than 20 minutes, depending on how many people live in your household. The Altamont Free Library and other local public libraries plan to provide personal assistance as well as extra computer stations for the public to use to complete the census questionnaire.

You can find an instructive video walk-through of the online questionnaire on the Altamont Free Library’s website at If you have any questions or concerns about responding to the census online, please don’t hesitate to contact the library at 518-861-7239.

Both of us will continue to provide periodic updates in this space, as well as on the library’s Facebook page over the coming months.

Responding to the census promptly and completely is an easy way to show your support for our community, and to help improve it. Please help us show the world that Altamont counts!

Joseph Burke


Altamont Free Library 


Jim Gaughan

Mayor of Altamont, 2005-17

Editor’s note: See related story.

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