As the deadline to respond to the 2020 Census fast approaches, Cape May County residents and second homeowners are urged to go online, to call, or to complete the form sent to them by the US Census Bureau.The deadline to participate as a self-response provider is September 30. Census forms and invitations to complete the 2020 Census were mailed to every household in March; follow-up forms were sent in August.“Due to COVID-19, the Census Bureau has had to make adjustments to the way they planned to conduct the national count. Self-response is more important now than ever, so if you have not already done so, please go online at www.2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020,” said Freeholder Will Morey, liaison to the Cape May County Planning Department.”Morey continued, “Additionally, Census workers are out in our communities knocking on doors of households that did not respond. If an enumerator visits your home, please help your community by responding. It’s quick, easy, confidential, and important.”The Census data is important for New Jersey and Cape May County and will be used for the next 10 years. It determines the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding for schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, bridges, and other services that benefit communities.This includes support for over 100 programs that impact Cape May County residents such as Medicaid, Head Start, Mental Health Services, and SNAP. Further, it determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives and congressional and state legislative districts.Plus, local businesses, schools, and governments use demographic information to develop programs and services.Self-response rates in parts of Cape May County have been low, particularly barrier island communities, which have high numbers of seasonal homes.The Census Bureau is asking everyone, including seasonal homeowners, to make the effort to be counted by Sept. 30.The Census counts everyone based on where they were on April 1, so second homeowners who weren’t in their Cape May County homes that day should still respond, but by indicating “0” residents. It is important that everyone in Cape May County on April 1 is counted.Help join the effort to ensure that Cape May County gets its fair share by responding today, county officials say. The time to fill out the Census is now if you haven’t already done so, Cape May County officials say.