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United States Census Bureau worker Cristina Romero, right, helps Marlene Nambo sign up to be a potential census taker at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Chicago. Staff at the center are educating parents about including their 0-5-year-olds in the census, and about becoming possible census takers.
United States Census Bureau worker Cristina Romero, right, helps Marlene Nambo sign up to be a potential census taker at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Chicago. Staff at the center are educating parents about including their 0-5-year-olds in the census, and about becoming possible census takers. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

The Hogan administration is absolutely getting a late start with their planning for the 2020 census (“Is Maryland ready for the census? With just months until the count, a top lawmaker is raising alarms,” Jan. 23). Robert McCord, Maryland’s planning secretary, is correct in saying that “the call to action to fill out the form ... needs to come closer to the census." However, he is ignoring decades of research by the U.S. Census Bureau that a boost in census response is aided by an awareness campaign that comes before the call to action.

This once-a-decade civic event requires public education in advance of the actual enumeration. Maryland should follow the Census Bureau’s lead and start an awareness campaign soon.

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Frank A. Vitrano Baltimore

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