Marjorie Corley said she knows how important returning the U.S. Census form is.
She filled it out and returned it, but with doubts.
Corley is concerned she and other Martinez residents will be counted as living in Richmond County. The census form arrived with the correct street address and 30907 ZIP code, but the city in the address was listed as Augusta.
"It bothers me. It bothered me when I got it saying 'Augusta,' " Corley said. "I want to count as a Columbia County resident."
Residents will be counted in the county where they live, insisted Edward Davis, Atlanta Regional Census Center media coordinator.
"What's important on there is the bar code when you return it," Davis said. "That bar code is exact all the way down to your tract. ... It goes all the way to your doorstep."
The discrepancy occurs because the forms are delivered through the postal service, which often defaults the 30907 ZIP code to Augusta, he said.
An accurate census is important for all governments and municipalities. Federal, state and 1-percent sales tax funds are distributed based on census figures.
"I thought if this is to help the counties or the local area get some assistance with government funds or whatever, (I am afraid) Richmond County is going to get my count," said Corley.
Davis said while conducting the census, residents in similar situations as Corley's have emerged. The 30907 ZIP code is divided between Richmond and Columbia counties.
"There are only a few areas like this," Davis said, adding he welcomes calls from concerned residents such as Corley. "We need people to be passionate and concerned because those are the people who are going to return those forms."
Davis said census forms are due as soon as possible. Census workers will start canvassing neighborhoods to collect information from those who didn't return the forms by Saturday.
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