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Census workers to be verifying addresses

POSTED: March 29, 2009 11:02 p.m.

If you see someone outside your home checking your address this week, don’t be alarmed. It’s a census worker.

To update the nation’s 145 million addresses for Census 2010, census workers will be conducting an address canvassing operation starting this week.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a survey of the American population as outlined by the Constitution. The census begins April 1, 2010.

Census results are used to determine how many congressional seats will be allocated to each state and how much federal funding various community programs will receive.

Canvass workers will be traversing the neighborhoods of 31 Northeast Georgia counties, including Hall, Jackson, Dawson, Banks, Lumpkin and Gwinnett, to verify addresses for about a week starting on Thursday.

National address canvassing begins April 6 and will continue for about three months, according to the census office in Atlanta.

“A complete and accurate address list is the cornerstone of a successful census,” said Tom Mesenbourg, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “Building on the achievements of the 2000 Census, we have been testing and preparing for the 2010 count all decade, and we’re ready to fulfill our constitutional mandate to count everyone living in the United States.”

The Census Bureau needs the address and physical location of each living quarter in the United States to conduct the census. During the address canvassing operation, the Census Bureau verifies that its master address list and maps are accurate so it can mail or hand-deliver questionnaires to housing units and potential group quarters in 2010.

In the preliminary address canvassing, census workers use GPS-enabled handheld computers to compare what they see on the ground to what is shown on the Census Bureau’s address list. Based on their findings, census workers will verify, update or delete addresses already on the list, and add addresses that are missing from the list.

At the same time, they will also update maps so they accurately reflect what is on the ground. In most cases, census workers will knock on doors to verify addresses and inquire about additional living quarters on the premises.

Census workers can be identified by the official Census Bureau badge they carry and will never ask for bank or social security information.

The data collected from individuals during the census is kept confidential and not shared with any other governmental agency or department, including those associated with the deportation process.

All Census Bureau employees take an oath for life to keep census information confidential. Any violation of that oath is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.



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