The State of Montana Complete Count Committee is asking all kinds of businesses, organizations and community centers to volunteer their locations to be a ‘Be Counted’ site for the upcoming 2020 Census.

Emilie Ritter Saunders with the Montana Department of Commerce said the call is going out in every city and town in the state,

“Census day is just 61 days from now,” said Ritter Saunders. “The Montana State Complete Count Committee is asking businesses, organizations and community facilities to sign up.”

Ritter Saunders described what is expected of each site.

“That basically means if you’re a public facility like a business, a local government building, you can sign up to become a Be Counted site,” she said. “The location just needs to provide access to a computer or tablet with password-protected wi-fi from mid-March to early May. The idea is that members of the public can come into your 'Be Counted' location, log onto the U.S. Census Bureau website and respond to the census at that location.”

Ritter Saunders said the 2020 Census differs from any other in history.

“This is the first decennial census that Montanans will be able to respond to online and by phone, so we want to make sure that folks have access to do so, both online and by phone,” she said. “We already have over 230 Be Counted locations already on a map that you can see on our website at Census dot MT dot gov and a lot of those are places like public libraries and other public buildings, food banks, churches, basically any public building that would have the necessary password-protected wi-fi, and we’ll add it to our map so that folks all over the state of Montana can click around the map to find the easiest place for them to go and fill out their census.”

The actual Census count is a federally run effort. The State of Montana does not participate in any of the actual counting activities. The State’s role is promoting why it is so important for Montanans to fill out the form.

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