This is April Fool’s Day and, oddly enough, Census Day. Most people have already gotten their census forms, either in the mail or at their front door. The U.S. Census Bureau is asking Iowans to get the forms filled out and mailed off by today.
Bureau spokesman Jared Ewy says census workers won’t be visiting your house tomorrow if you haven’t completed the task. If you live in two separate places during the year or aren’t sure what address to put down on the form, use the address of where you live and sleep on April 1st.
Ewy ways the date was chosen rather arbitrarily, but a date was needed as an “equalizer.” He says teams will be heading out in May to do follow-ups with people who didn’t return their forms. Ewy says many people are still worried about what the Census Bureau will be doing with the information collected and who will see it.
“The Census Bureau…it probably elicits in your head an image of a giant, faceless bureaucracy,” Ewy says. “What we are though are people hired locally. We have single mothers and grandfathers and retired teachers and college kids that know their community and that really helps.”
Ewy says the federal government already has all the personal information about people it wants and the census is simply a way of counting the population. The questions of race on the census form are needed to monitor compliance with the Voters Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act, according to Ewy. He says in terms of security, the census data supersedes the Patriot Act and is not even available to the president. He says the information remains secret for 72 years. Questions? Visit the website: “2010.census.gov“.