Uncounted Broward County Residents Urged to Respond to Visits from Census Takers
BROWARD COUNTY – After the first month of non-response follow up, the United States Census reports that it has counted 77 percent of those who did not mail back their forms.
After the mail-in deadline in late April, 69 percent of Broward County residents had mailed back their forms, leaving 31 percent to be visited by census takers. Census takers, also known as enumerators, will continue to visit addresses that did not return a census form through July.
The Broward County Census is urging residents who have not yet been counted to open their doors to census enumerators and answer questions during their phone calls.
“It is critical that every resident of Broward County is counted,” said Broward County Commissioner, Ilene Lieberman, chair of the Census 2010 Complete Count Committee. “The questions that are asked help planning and funding decisions for the next 10 years.”
Census information is used to allocate billions of dollars in funding for housing, public safety, education, human services and community services. Census results are also used to determine representation in the federal and state governments. Under-counting leads to under-representation.
Enumerators can provide language assistance, help fill out forms and answer questions about how the information is used. They can explain the importance of the questions and how the information benefits the community.
Census takers will have an official badge and a Census 2010 bag. Some will have laptop computers and will visit a household up to six times. If they are unable to make contact, they will leave a door hanger with a contact phone number. Residents can call the number on the hanger to schedule a visit and be counted.
“For those who may feel reluctant to provide information, remember that census takers who collect information are sworn for life to protect the data,” said Commissioner Lieberman. “Those who violate the oath face a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.”
Important census enumerator facts:
CENSUS WORKERS WILL NEVER:
· Ask to enter your home.
· Ask for social security numbers.
· Ask for bank account or personal identification information. They do not need to know where you do your banking, where you have any financial accounts, or where you keep your money.
· Ask for credit card account information. The Census is free; there is no charge for participating in it, and no reason to need a credit card number. They also do not need to know which, if any, credit cards you have, how long you’ve had them or when they were last used.
· Ask for any other identifying numbers such as Driver’s License, Visa, Passport, or Alien numbers. They simply want to know the names, birthdates, and ages of people living in your household, and nothing else.
· Solicit information via e-mail.
· Send a representative to your home unless you fail to return the questionnaire via the pre-paid envelope in the mail.
· Ask for the name of your mortgage company or for your landlord’s information.
“Cooperation is critical to ensure that each resident living in Broward County is counted,” said Commissioner Lieberman. “So put out the welcome mat. Every uncounted person affects your friends, neighbors and family members living in Broward County. Be counted!”