Originally created 04/02/00

Doubts 2000 census will be accurate



I received a telephone call from the Census Bureau asking if I had completed my census form and mailed it in. When I responded "no," the caller asked me why not. The No. 1 item on the form states: "How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2000?" Am I mistaken, has April 1 come and gone and I missed it?

These forms were mailed or delivered over two weeks ago, at least, and the local papers, officials and newscasters have all urged everyone to fill them out and send them in now. Since I am not a fortuneteller, I do not know who will be living here on April 1 because it isn't here yet. There were complaints of an undercount with the last census. It seems to me there could be allegations again of a miscount if the forms are filled out in advance of the census date.

Households change every day with births, deaths, and moving; people could be counted twice or not at all. Perhaps in our enthusiasm to start counting, we might be putting the cart before the horse. I have serious doubts the Census Bureau will go back to all those households which have already mailed their forms in and ask after April 1 if there has been any change in the population of the household.

Geraldine Connally, Mitchell