The 2020 presidential election won’t be the only major newsmaker in the 2020 calendar year. The U.S. Census Bureau and all of the controversial sidebars attached to the census will be a close second.

While the nation is bogged down — perhaps even bored — with the high stakes presidential campaign, the Census Bureau is hard at work preparing for an avalanche of misinformation that could be a threat to the accurate data the Bureau is seeking. The Census Bureau is worried about internet trolls and foreign powers spreading false news. It is the first time in the bureau’s 230-year history that it has taken steps to battle a false information campaign.

Here’s why the stakes are so high. Who participates in the 2020 census count could influence how U.S. congressional seats and billions of federal tax dollars to educate children, help low-income families and pave new roads are divided up, according to the Associated Press.

Already, false and inaccurate social media posts about the census have begun to appear online, where they have been viewed thousands of times. Foremost on everyone’s mind are the misinformation wars waged during the last presidential election to confuse U.S. voters.

Fake posts about the census began popping up days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the Trump administration could not ask about citizenship status on the 2020 census: Conservative bloggers, Twitter users and pundits falsely blamed former President Barack Obama for scrubbing the question from the form in 2010, the AP noted, adding that the main census form hasn’t included a citizenship question since 1950. The bureau’s own analysis found it would discourage people from participating, possibly skewing results.

Back in September, sham posts popped up warning online neighborhood chat groups that robbers were scamming their way into people’s homes by asking to check residents’ identification for the upcoming census. The online hoax left Census Bureau officials scrambling to get the post removed from Facebook, concerned that census workers who were knocking on doors to verify addresses could face trouble.

Cyber and census experts worry that trolls and foreign governments — particularly Russia and China — will sow more confusion to discourage people from participating in the census. The bureau is working with Facebook, Twitter and Google to stamp out inaccurate information.

The census form is sent every decade to households in America to count the population. John Thompson, former U.S. Census Bureau director, pointed out that if bad people want to disrupt a democracy, they have to go about it by disrupting a census.

We’re putting our readers on notice that they need to be alert for online misinformation when it comes time for the 2020 census is very important when it comes to U.S. congressional seats and federal money to educate our children, help low-income families, pave our roads and host of other valuable data important to a free democracy.