The 2020 Census is just around the corner and Grayson County leaders are getting ready for the count. On Tuesday, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers announced Commissioner Phyllis James will lead the county’s charge on the project.


Magers said the county’s role in the census count is really one of a leader and point of information about the process.


“We have got to work as a community to get accurate numbers for the census,” Magers said.


Describing herself as the county’s census cheerleader, James said she really had not understood before how important the census is to counties. She thought it was just about counting the number of people in a county.


“It is so much more,” James said. “You have no idea the impact that the head count will make on the federal dollars and all of the money that will come into Grayson County and to benefit so many people.”


Information found on www.census.gov shows the federal government uses census data to distribute more than $675 billion to states and communities.


The count deals with more than just money though. The data gathered is used to determine how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries.


Magers predicted the census is going to find Grayson County is growing more rapidly than projected.


“I think that there’s a lot more people here than what the census tracked and the impact is a lot of different things from transportation dollars to indigent health care dollars,” Magers said. “It’s a big, big deal.”


James said the census will be conducted differently this time around and that most people will likely be counted via their computer. Then, she said, there will be a map generated that shows where people have not been counted and census workers will go door to door in those areas to make sure everyone is counted.


James said the key right now is just getting the word out that it will be happening and letting people know how to be counted.


Jerrie Whiteley is the criminal justice editor for the Herald Democrat. Contact her at jwhiteley@heralddemocrat.com or on Twitter @jlwhiteley.