Less than one-quarter of Pima has responded to the Census

PIMA – The U.S. Census response rate from residents of Pima is about half that of Safford and Thatcher, so the town at looking at ways to increase participation.

“We are actually going to pay to have mailings done through the Post Office. And I imagine we’re probably going to do two or three of those on our own,” said Sean Lewis, Pima town manager.

The issue, Lewis said, is that most residents weren’t informed how to participate in the Census because the Census does not mail to Post Office boxes, which is how the overwhelming majority of Pima residents get their mail.

Another hurdle is the number of residents who don’t have internet access to complete the Census online. And with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the closure to the public of Pima Town Hall and the Pima Library, there are no public options for residents. Lewis said he anticipates delaying the mailings until the closure orders have been lifted.

“We’re also going to do a couple giveaways, we’re going to do a couple competitions,” Lewis said. “We’re looking at probably doing a TV, a large TV (and) we’re also looking at maybe doing a videogame console (or) something like that. So that when people bring us, basically, their receipt saying that they did the Census, they would be entered into a drawing for some pretty big prizes.”

As of Wednesday, 49.4 percent of the state’s population had responded to the Census. The total response rate for Graham County is 39.2 percent, with Safford at 48.9 percent, Thatcher at 47.5 percent and Pima at 24.3 percent. The San Carlos Tribal response rate is at 0.3 percent.

To participate in the Census, go to my2020census.gov. Completion takes about 10 minutes.