Governor Ivey creates committee to help achieve ‘maximum participation’ for 2020 census

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- It's almost that time of the century again.  As we approach the next decade, Governor Ivey made an announcement about the upcoming census and a few important changes.

"The 2020 census will be the first to emphasize an online response," said Kenneth Boswell, director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

It may seem far away, but expect a postcard in 2020 with information on how to complete the census online, over the phone or by the traditional paper form.

On Monday, Ivey began prepping the people of Alabama for the population tally and signed an executive order creating the Alabama Counts! 2020 Census Committee.

"If we do not reach maximum participation we will be at serious risk of losing a congressional seat in Congress and very importantly federal funding for Alabama," said Ivey.

The advisory group is made up of public and private statewide organizations and under the guidance of the ADECA, will work to publicize and educate people on why an accurate count matters.

"One of the challenges in a census is that many times parents don't understand that their children should be included on the census questionnaire," said Marilyn Stephen with the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2015, the bureau reported a population growth in Alabama of 1.7 percent over five years, ranking 36th in national growth rate.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and U.S. Representative Mo Brooks sued the Census Bureau in May challenging the rule that includes illegal immigrants in the population count.

Following the conference, Ivey said she supports the suit according to her office.

The committee is tasked with developing a census action plan by August 1, 2019.

In a few weeks, the Census Bureau will be rolling out a recruitment tool for Alabamians to apply for census jobs.