Not too long ago, Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower was a guest on my show, The Theater of Public Policy. She explained that each state’s representation in Congress is determined by the decennial census, and this year, Minnesota is on the bubble in terms of representation. If Minnesota’s population count in the census is a little low relative to growth in states like Texas, Alabama or Florida, one of our seats in Congress will be reallocated to the Sunbelt.

I decided to devote my Almanac monologue to encouraging everyone in Minnesota to fill out their census form and to reach out to others to do the same – because the numbers are likely to be very, very close this census. Whether or not Minnesotans mobilize and fill out their census forms could be the difference between Minnesota keeping eight seats in the House or a place like Florida getting one more. I grew up in Florida and chose to move to Minnesota, so I feel comfortable saying I’d much prefer to keep Minnesota’s voice in Congress as strong as it is, dontchaknow. It’s nothing personal against Florida; I just think a python-infested peninsula whose most infamous moment of political history involved magnifying glasses and hanging chads doesn’t need another seat in Congress, especially not at Minnesota’s expense.

So fill out your census forms, Minnesotans. Tell your friends, family and neighbors to as well. Do it because it’s your civic duty. Do it to ensure Minnesota’s accurate representation in Washington, D.C. Or just do it so Florida doesn’t win.

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Tane is right: It turns out that Minnesota could be a big loser if people don’t fill out their 2020 Census forms. After all, the census determines each state’s representation in Congress. Why? How? Here’s a little explainer.

The census also determines how federal dollars are spent in Minnesota – so it’s mission critical for everyone to fill out the form. But many people worry about whether or not their census information is confidential. Fact: Census data cannot be made public for 72 years, and federal law mandates that your information remain secure.