there is still time to be counted for the United States census.
Originally set to end July 31, the deadline has been extended to mid-August.
That will give Okmulgee County residents an opportunity to boost the number of forms completed.phillips
State Representative Logan Phillips spoke to Henryetta Lions Club members about the importance of participating in order to keep local representation.
“The next ten years could see a massive shift in representation,” he said. Two seats in the House (of Representatives) could go to Tulsa or Oklahoma City.” That would mean less representation for the rural areas of Oklahoma.
Logan said currently about 22 percent of the census forms in Okmulgee County have been filled out. “A lot of people are worried about their information being leaked or sold,” he said. “The information is extremely protected. You are a number and the information does not go back to a specific person.”
Besides the possible loss of representation due to redistricting, the census figures also indicate how federal tax dollars are divided up. “For every person that does not fill out their census form, we face a $14,000 loss in revenue for the county over the next ten years.”
He also pointed out that participation in the census is not a request but rather a law. A little-known fact is a person over 18 years of age who refuses to answer all or part of the census could be fined up to $100. For providing false answers, there is a fine up to $500 that can be levied.
During his visit with Lions members, Phillips said he is pushing for broadband internet expansion across the state.
The issue met with mild acceptance last year but, according to Phillips, the COVID pandemic resulted in legislators working from home and now more in favor of it.
“Hopefully we will try to push it through next year.”