This morning, the Town issued an email alert notifying the public to expect the visits. If you don’t want to wait for the visit, or are hoping to avoid it, you can still participate online here.
Here is the message from Town Clerk Jim Hegarty:
Federal census workers going door-to-door in Southborough
The Secretary of State has asked me to share this [announcement] with you.
Please be aware that 2020 U.S. Census workers are in Southborough, following-up with residents about completing their 2020 Census.
These workers can be identified by their U.S. Department of Commerce Photo ID on their person, an iPhone with the same watermark, and may be carrying a shoulder bag that displays 2020 Census on the front.
They are making sure our community is counted, and are not in the neighborhood for any nefarious reasons.
Please cooperate with the workers, as they are just doing their job making sure our community is counted to receive its fair share of federal funding and political representation.
If you have any concerns, please call the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office directly at 833-621-2020
You can find more info about the big count and why the state wants the public to participate here.
According to the US Census Bureau, workers should only be pursuing information from people who haven’t already responded.
So, what should you expect? From the 2020 Census website:
Census takers will wear masks and follow local public health guidelines when they visit your home. All census takers complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing and other health and safety protocols before beginning their work in neighborhoods.
Census takers are hired from your area, and their goal is to help you and everyone in your home be counted in the 2020 Census. If the census taker who visits your home does not speak your language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does speak your language.
Census takers work between 9am and 9pm, including weekends. If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
According to the website, it’s possible that a Census Taker will leave a paper questionnaire hanging from your doorknob.
Of course, with the announcement made to expect visitors, you may worry it’s also an invitation for scammers to start knocking. In case you are wondering how to identify a real Census Taker. . .
According to the US Census Bureau:
If someone visits your home this year to collect information for the 2020 Census, check to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo.*
Plus, a flyer about scammers from the state notes that legitimate Census Workers should never ask you for your Social Security number. (More obviously, they also won’t ask for bank account/credit card info or for any money.)
*The US Bureau’s page also noted that if you still weren’t comfortable, you can contact the Regional Census Center. For Massachusetts that’s the NY office at 212-882-7100.