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Monday, April 19, 2010

123 - Counting you and me

Ah - it is time for the decennial census again. I fully understand that the constitution requires the congress to establish a procedure for the population of our country to be enumerated every ten years. I do not have a problem with that, nor do I complain that many of the questions which have been included on the forms in recent years have been intrusive. However, several things regarding their procedures and questions do trouble me.

The stated primary purpose of having the census conducted is to insure that seats in the House of Representatives are allotted to each state in proportion to the number of voters in that state. By law only citizens are eligible to vote. Why then does the government require that the entire population be enumerated without regard to citizenship status? I see no problem with counting the entire population providing that citizenship status is indicated on the form. However, there is no question pertaining to citizenship status. Clearly this skews the results in favor of states with large populations that are not citizens. This is especially annoying as many of these non citizens are "Undocumented Workers" i.e., illegal immigrants. A secondary use of this data is to allocate funds for federal welfare and benefit programs - again to illegal immigrants and non citizens.

The majority of US States do not recognize same sex couples as being married, yet the Census Bureau has elected to allow these partners to reflect married status on their forms. Pardon me but it seems that this clearly corrupts the resulting data and compromises the application of it.

The effective date of the census data has changed several times over the 20 plus times that the population has been enumerated. Currently the data is to reflect status as of 1 April 2010. Our Government spent over a million tax dollars in an advertising campaign to get each household to complete the form and send it in. Way back in March, well before this 1 April effective date, reminders were received by mail and TV ads were being aired haranguing those who had not yet returned their forms. While we may speculate what the answers are likely to be in a week or two, we can not know for sure. In my view any form mailed prior to 1 April must be considered invalid. It makes me wonder who got what in return for this lucrative and clearly excessive advertising contract.

Please share your thoughts on this with me.

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