ALBANY — The 2020 U.S. Census will be the first that will rely primarily on online participation to perform the mandated 10-year count.

On Tuesday, Albany city commissioners will look at initiating the city’s own local effort in making sure people in Albany and Dougherty County are counted. They also will discuss nearly $800,000 in sewage system improvements.

Commissioners could vote on a measure creating the Albany-Dougherty Complete Count Committee for next year’s Census.

“The Complete Count Committee is made up of local citizens who represent a cross-section of the community,” according to a description of the group. “They will utilize their local knowledge to create strategies that educate the community on the importance of the US Census and encourage everyone to be counted.”

The count is not just about statistics, it’s also about money and elections. Census data are used by the federal and state governments in distributing grants to cities and counties, and state, federal and local governments use population figures to draw district boundaries for elections.

For the 2020 count, plans are to have the devices people constantly have in their hands as a way to reach more people and save costs, according to the Brennan Center For Justice, a law and policy center at NYU School of Law.

“The 2020 Census will be the first to be completed largely online — if the Census Bureau’s plan goes off without complications,” according to the institute. “An online census is one of several technological innovations that the Census Bureau has designed to respond to the challenges of counting an increasingly large and diverse society, while also complying with strict cost constraints that Congress has imposed.

“The Bureau developed these technological innovations — which also include redesigning its address canvassing process and incorporating administrative records as sources of information on households — to help save it an estimated $5.2 billion on the upcoming census.”

Among other business on Tuesday, the commission will consider a $759,000 bid for the rehabilitation of two sewage lift stations.

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