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The Kentucky Association of Counties

Harlan County launches innovative program to increase Census participation

Harlan County Judge/Executive Dan Mosley waives fees when residents provide proof of filling out their Census form and distributes informational flyers through the school system's meal program.

As the 2020 Census continues, county officials in Kentucky are finding unique and innovative ways to encourage participation. One of those counties is Harlan County, where Judge/Executive Dan Mosley has offered to waive fees for scheduling a county trash trailer when a resident provides proof they have filled out their Census form.

“We’ve put our county trash trailers (bulk item pickup) back in rotation. We had originally parked those due to the pandemic, because people couldn’t come in to pay and schedule those due to in-person services being restricted,” said Mosley. “However, we’ve decided for the time being, to allow these to be scheduled and the fee waived, for our county to encourage people to clean up their properties while remaining healthy at home.”

The fee is waived if residents do one of the following:

1. Completes their 2020 census and screenshots their confirmation and text it to the county road garage cell phone or email the confirmation to the county garage.
2. Donate PPE
3. Make a $35.00 donation (usual cost of the trailer) to the Team Kentucky fund

“Since we started this promotion, we’ve had more than 110 complete their census, 12 make donations to the Team Kentucky Fund, and one person who donated PPE,” said Mosley. “We also went from 14 percent completion two weeks ago, to 25.6 percent as of yesterday.”

In addition, Harlan County will be partnering with the Harlan County School System and the Harlan Independent School District to send out a Census flyer to every student that is still receiving a meal from one of these schools.

“Next week, 4,000 flyers will go out to students across Harlan County asking them to help their parents complete their census questionnaire. Teachers will also be working with students about the importance of the Census during their COVID-19 distance learning education outreach,” said Mosley.

A copy of the Harlan County Census flyer can be downloaded HERE.

Census Participation Rates
As of April 19, the state of Kentucky had a 53.4 percent response rate, but that rate varies significantly across counties. The five counties with the highest response rates so far – Oldham, Spencer, Boone, Daviess, Scott – each have a rate greater than 60 percent, while some counties - many of which are in Southeastern Kentucky - have rates below 35 percent.

Learn more about Kentucky county participation rates here: https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html