As the 2020 Census is set to end October 31, 2020, communities can expect increased activity by Census takers. This increased activity is certain to run into communities that are seeking to limit the number of visitors accessing their community due the pandemic’s health threat to residents.

However, census takers must be granted access to all private communities pursuant to 13 U.S.C. §223. This Federal statute prohibits any refusal to provide the names, restrict access, or even limit access a census taker. You also cannot set a specific time for census takers to conduct the census. They must be allowed to conduct their work at their own schedule.

To confirm whether a person alleging they are a census taker actually works for the Census Bureau, they must present an ID badge that includes their name, their photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you wish to verify their status, you can search the Census Bureau’s staff search website here or contact the regional office for Florida by calling (470) 889-6800.

To avoid issues, communities should educate their residents of the census process, the communities obligations to allow access to census takers, and remind them that federal law requires they complete the census, and anyone over the age of eighteen who refuses to complete the census can be fined $100.  If you have not responded to the census yet, you can do so here.