Here we are living in 2020; it sounds a little sci-fi and futuristic. It is going to be an entire year of hearing comments about perfect vision. It is also a census year. By law, the United States government is required to count the number of people living in the United States every 10 years. In the first census, which took place in 1790, census takers visited nearly every home in the United States to gather data. In 2020, options will include responding online, by mail, or by phone.

Now, I know that many people don’t respond to census questions very well. They feel that the government is getting too up-close with way too many fingers in their affairs, and it gives them the “nunya business” attitude.

As citizens of this country, we have responsibilities to uphold. One of our greatest responsibilities is to vote, and yes, every vote counts. We cannot forget the ripple effect of one rock thrown in a lake.

Although voting is extremely important, the months leading up to election day are even more crucial as we prepare to exercise our freedom to choose our leaders. We must first acknowledge what we believe in and what direction we want out leadership to take. We need to research our media sources to make sure that we are not receiving our information from those slanted to the left or to the right. Facebook should not be our go-to source for our facts and figures on our upcoming election. We need absolute facts to base our choices on, not opinions of people we don’t even know. We need to research each of our choices; search their history for how they believe and the decisions they have made.

When we walk into the booth to vote, we should recognize every name on the ballot and know where they stand on the issues so important to our country. We should be able to vote with complete confidence. Thousands have given their lives for our freedom to vote; surely, we can take the time to do the research to use that freedom wisely.

Another duty we have as citizens is to complete the census. Census information is used to determine how much federal funding is allocated for important projects and services that benefit our communities. The census also plays a significant role in our nation’s system of government, by determining how many representatives will be sent to Congress from each state.

Sheral Wortman will be holding a Mini Census Job Fair at Lincoln Library on February 6th from 5:00 to 6:45 PM, and also on February 8th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. Those interested in a flexible part-time job are welcome to come during those times with their resumes, for more information.

Finally, be nice to census workers; they are just doing their job!