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  • To Answer or Not to Answer the Census – That Is the Question

    I have been deluged lately with requests asking me whether one has to answer all of the questions on the 2010 Census, particularly those about race and ethnic background. Like Mark Krikorian, I don’t like those questions and don’t think the U.S. government should be collecting that information — its only use is to continue to separate us on racial grounds, for reapportionment purposes and for certain government programs.

    Mark has said that he is going to answer “American” on the race question. I have always been tempted to answer “Native American,” since I was born and raised here. However, people need to understand that they may incur a legal liability if they use such answers or don’t answer questions at all.

    In Article I, Section 2, the Constitution says that an “Enumeration” must be conducted every ten years “in such Manner as [Congress] shall by Law direct.” Congress has directed through a federal law that anyone who “refuses or willfully neglects…to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions” on the Census form can be fined $100 (13 U.S.C. § 221). If you deliberately give a false answer, you can be fined up to $500.

    Although there are not a lot of reported prosecutions, this statutory requirement has been upheld by the courts as constitutional. There is even a 1970 court decision from Delaware holding that there is a separate violation for each question you don’t answer. So, on this year’s ten-question Census form, you could be fined as much $1,000 — $5,000 if you refuse to answer or deliberately give false answers. If there was a mass refusal by millions of Americans to answer parts of the form — like the race question — the U.S. Justice Department would not have the resources to prosecute everyone who violated the law. But you could be prosecuted and fined, and there is a court decision from New York (which the Supreme Court refused to review) holding that a conviction for violating this law is valid even if there were other persons who also refused to fill out the form but were not prosecuted. (One curious exception to that: The liberal Ninth Circuit reversed a conviction when it was shown that the defendant might have been targeted due to his publicly held “dissident” view that the Census is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.)

    Everyone should realize that if you don’t complete a Census form, you are violating federal law. The chances of actual prosecution may be remote, but it could happen. The only real answer to this problem is for Congress to prohibit the Census Bureau from collecting such information and to make all government programs (and the reapportionment process) explicitly race-neutral.

    Cross-posted at The Corner.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    131 Responses to To Answer or Not to Answer the Census – That Is the Question

    1. Angela in Seattle says:

      I would think that even ASKING the question would be somehow discriminatory. I'm sure employers aren't allowed to ask that, any more than they're allowed to ask if you have any chronic diseases or if you're pregnant, because then they might not hire you and it would be discrimination. What possible good can come of the government knowing semi-exact numbers of races, except to institutionalize discrimination at some level or other?

      Rush was encouraging people yesterday to write in 'American'. I bet he doesn't know people could be fined.

      • Pam in Illinois says:

        Well, Rush can probably afford to pay the fine easier than most of us. Not such a big deal for him.

    2. Ruth Oklahoma says:

      My heritage is English, Irish, Welch ,Dutch, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chickasaw I am not just a Indian or a white person I am American.

    3. Missouri says:

      Since this current government doesn't use the Constitution to govern this country, they can come and arrest me, so long as they arrest the rest of Capital Hill.

    4. Enola Christensen, P says:

      I don't have a problem so much with the race issue as I do with some of the other questions. I saw on FoxNews with Judge Napolitano that they ask how much your income is, your mortgage payment, and how many cars you own. I don't understand the reasons why they need to know this. If they just need an "Enumeration" as the Constitution states, than why don't they just ask how many people live at your residence?

    5. Roscoe Pyle says:

      The only question you have to answer on the 2010 Census Form is the one pertaining to "how many individuals live here" — that's all!

      All of the other questions may be left blank!

    6. Mark Nix, Virginia says:

      My Heritage is very mixed but I was born in the USA, therefore I will answer Native American. If you were born here you are AMERICAN, NOT Afro American, Hispanic American, Asian American etc. SO START ACTING LIKE IT and stop the RACIST labels

    7. Susy says:

      You mean to say we legally have to answer ALL the questions? I do not believe that is what is in the constitution. Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution is where the Census is found. It is only to determine the number of Representatives in the House and to impose direct taxes amoung the states.. The power to make laws concerning the Census is RESTRICTED to the "actual enumeration." Name, sex, age, and all other questions have nothing to do with direct taxes or to determine the number of House Representatives allowed. Come on Heritage Foundation, you know the facts. Why not state so.

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    10. Stephen J. D'An says:

      My cmment:

      Under "Race" put "Human race"


    11. Stephanie Jones, Ash says:

      I will be responding to the 2010 Census in this way…

      "There are (X number) of taxpaying American citizens who are protected by the U.S. Constitution residing at this address." PERIOD!

    12. USA says:

      Only answer 1 question – how many people live there. But….remember to put N/A in the rest so they can't fill in what they want later.

    13. Governor's grea says:

      If we are only required to write how many people reside in the household, why is it necessary to then give out phone numbers, names, ownership of residence, date of birth…what does that have to do with the number of people in a household. Seems a little intrusive. This year we received the "short" form. Last time they were counting working bathrooms!

    14. Billie says:

      GOOD ONE, USA!

      I will answer NOTHING that isn't under the definition of "CENSUS."

    15. Connie Nevada says:

      I heard someone say to plead the fifth, "I refuse to answer on the grounds……Do you think that would work?

    16. Patrick, Houston says:

      I will gladly pay the $100, if they ever try to collect, just to keep the bast&*ds out of my business. Kick them all out!!!

    17. dave sutter Sterling says:

      US CENSUS..It is "my" consensus that, All you are required to give is the no of persons, sex, name and age. I would appreciate any response to this question. I will only supply the minimum info as required by the law.

    18. Ann-Marie Haas says:

      I am going to write "Human-American" as I don't want to be left out as a non-hyphenated American!!

    19. Stan/Washington says:

      Even though all questions are supposed to be answered and are legally binding, I will leave my name and phone number blank. The census counts people. My name and phone number are personal information. My phone number is unllsted and only is given to people I choose. Those two items will be left blank, or I will put N/A.

    20. Carol Bryan, Bedford says:

      hank you so much for this information. It was very helpful.

      his is the first year I resent being counted on the Cencus.

      he present Administration seems more like a corrupt bunch

      of thugs than respectable patriotic men.

      God bless you


      God bless America

    21. Carol Bryan, Bedford says:

      Thank you for the info on the census. It was helpful.

      This is the first time i feel uneasy about filling out the census

      form. the administration at this time is not trust worthy.

    22. Merlene - Cloverdale says:

      We received our 2010 Census today and on one sheet it tells us to return the form today. Yet on the first two questions asks howmany people were living here on April 1, 2010 and were any additional people staying here on that date. How will I know the answer until April 1,2010. Sounds like an April Fools Question to us.

    23. Denise, Texas says:

      Mail has been stolen from our local Post Office outside drop-off several times now in the past few weeks. So who is to say that my form was stolen from that Post Office drop-off box or it was lost in the mail? How can the government prove you didn't mail it back and something happened to it along the way?

    24. Lisa, MN says:

      I only filled out how many people are living at our residence, that's it. Everything else is too invasive and none of their business!

    25. jane nilsen gig harb says:

      I got my form today. I only filled out how many "persons" reside in our home. I also included a note that said According to the U.S. Constitution, Article 1 section 2 state that the only question that is binding to answer is how many persons live at the residence. Not race, sex, how much is my income, where I work etc. Why do they want all that info anyway? Sounds to invasive to me.

    26. Mike/ Washington says:

      I as all of you have stated an not convinced that this is the proper method of conducting a manditory census of we the people of these United States.

      I for one will only provide how many reside in our house hold, as those numbers are the only items needed for a count of the masses, everything else will be N/A.

      This should fulfill the requirement as nothing will be left blank

    27. Carol, Henderson, NV says:

      I resent being ask personal questions as to how much money I make an how many cars I own, it is none of their business

    28. James New Mexico says:

      I to had problems with the current census questions. However I did answer how many in household. No age and no birthdays as they wished. I could find no reason to give them an answer for rent, own, mortgage or just squatters rights for my house.

      Yet when I came to the 'other race' box at the bottom of the page I did answer that one in truth. Considering that we are all related one way or another and can all trace our roots back to at least the ark as it landed on dry land after the flood. I answered that one as ' Totality of race is unknown'.


    29. Lori Snyder, Akron, says:

      Has anyone else noticed that the only question highlighted on the census form is question #1? (it is the only one encompased in the blue box.) I too believe that a census is only a head count to determine the number of reps per state…does the US government think that way too and that is why that question is marked that way?

    30. Mary Alexander, 269 says:

      I have answered the census questions but I resent strongly the dedication to race. If you are all Americans it should not matter. It is a political ploy to try

      to work districts to an advantage for the "in" bunch.

    31. Josh, Fort Worth says:

      Answer the number of people and then include this letter:

      To Whom it May Concern,

      Pursuant to Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, the only information you are empowered to request is the total number of occupants at this address. My “name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, telephone number, relationship and housing tenure” have absolutely nothing to do with apportioning direct taxes or determining the number of representatives in the House of Representatives. Therefore, neither Congress nor the Census Bureau have the constitutional authority to make that information request a component of the enumeration outlined in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3. In addition, I cannot be subject to a fine for basing my conduct on the Constitution because that document trumps laws passed by Congress.

      Interstate Commerce Commission v. Brimson, 154 U.S. 447, 479 (May 26, 1894)

      “Neither branch of the legislative department [House of Representatives or Senate], still less any merely administrative body [such as the Census Bureau], established by congress, possesses, or can be invested with, a general power of making inquiry into the private affairs of the citizen. Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 190. We said in Boyd v. U.S., 116 U. S. 616, 630, 6 Sup. Ct. 524,?and it cannot be too often repeated,?that the principles that embody the essence of constitutional liberty and security forbid all invasions on the part of government and it’s employees of the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of his life. As said by Mr. Justice Field in Re Pacific Ry. Commission, 32 Fed. 241, 250, ‘of all the rights of the citizen, few are of greater importance or more essential to his peace and happiness than the right of personal security, and that involves, not merely protection of his person from assault, but exemption of his private affairs, books, and papers from inspection and scrutiny of others. Without the enjoyment of this right, all others would lose half their value.’”

      Note: This United States Supreme Court case has never been overturned.


      A Citizen of the United States of America

    32. April, Colorado says:

      I just completed my census form. There were no questions about income, mortgage amount or the number of cars owned.

      You put your name, your race and the number of people living in your home. They do ask if you own your home outright, or if you have a mortgage or if you are renting. Remember, renters do not pay property taxes, so this would be pertinent information. That's it.

      Now, if you want to be concerned about the Constitution and a complete stripping away of our rights and liberties as Americans…then let's talk about The Patriot Act.

      Interestingly enough; I received a form that I thought was The Census form and it turned out to be a questionnaire from The Republican Party. I had to read over the form before I realized that it was NOT a census form. It had a big yellow envelope and the form had the word "census" all over it. I thought that that was inappropriate and dishonorable…Like one of those fraudulent Yellow Pages Ads trying to trick you into sending them a check.

    33. Ann, Bonita Springs, says:

      We will be filling out # of persons living here, sex, name, and "AMERICAN" for race. The rest we have a big N/A written over the questions.

    34. Steve Jones says:

      The census will only get my name. Any other info is none of thier concern. By the way, has anyone heard about the census takers linking up your residence to GPS?

    35. Seattle, WA says:

      I included a note with my form:

      Dear Census Employees,

      My name and phone number are not required for enumeration purposes and not mentioned in either the U.S. Constitution, Artlicle 1, Section 2 or the 14th Amendment, so I have not included those. All other questions were answered truthfully as demographic information may provide interesting demgraphic data.

      I will not give the name(s) and phone number(s) of the people living in this household to any census worker. I prefer not to be called by anyone unless they are extremely attractive, intelligent, successful, single men, aged 45-52. If you have a census worker fitting that description, please send him over for an interview right away.


    36. Linda, Carrollton GA says:

      Why are you telling people that they have to fill out all this personal info on the census? Everywhere I have read says your only requirement is to list the number of people at your address, nothing else.

      I wish you would check your facts. There is no reason for people to have to give out personal information to count the number of people in this country.

      Some sites says your only have to list the actual number of persons in the house, the age and the sex of each. I am not even certain we have to list that. Please check and give us the right facts.

      Thank you!

    37. David says:

      April, Colorado above says that all questions are pertinent. I respectfully disagree on the race count – my census form has an extra "race" question that reads:

      Of hispanic, Latino or spanish origin? Options are No, Yes (Mexican, MexAm/Chicano), Yes (Puerto Rican), Yes (Cuban), Yes (Another Hispanic Latino/Spanish) with a print origin section.

      I always found it curious and an example of how stupid it is to posit the "race" question in a multiethnic, inclusive, advanced democratic society and pointed to this specific situation when doing so. Race is a completely abstract concept. It's skin-deep only. It is so skin-deep that quickly we start mixing it up with national origin, and that is only because national origin during older times tended to create similar facial and skin-tone features, due to the isolation of these peoples from each other. The more interested a government is on the minute details of one's origin, the more ruthless and evil it can be, efficiently (remember, in the 1940s many in Europe were concerned about how much Aryan was exactly Aryan enough). So regardless what you think of how good or bad a current government may be, it is having the information at all that creates the danger.

      So because I believe in my heart race is a completely abstract concept, and we *all* are of a mixed family, I have decided that they may as well be asking me what shade of pink my pegasus horse is and then threatening me with a stiff fine if I don't answer truthfully. Truthfully, there is no correct response in this, a nation of immigrants. So I decided I will put "human", because it's the only thing I can truthfully count on, number of chromosomes and all.

      For the lame excuse of "family history purposes": I am the genealogist in my family, a family tree with about 650 people so far. And I've *never* needed "race" information. I've always just needed Date/Location of birth, Date/Location of marriage, Date/Location of death. That's really all you need. Local historical sources give you everything else. I'm really surprised they say that with a straight face – giving this reasoning is either astounding ignorance or plain bad faith, because we all know the government won't be using this information to find the illustrious Senators' long lost uncles.

      If required, I'll be contesting the $400 fine in small claims court for the privilege of standing before a judge and explaining to him or her that in the entire recorded history of human events, detailed race information collection has 99% of the time been eventually used to promote violence or domination of one set of people over another.

    38. Alex, Cleveland says:

      While I agree with the sentiment of most here to only put the number of occupants in the premises, most of the other "private" information they request has already been collected by some government entity at some point. Any Joe Public can look up information about your house on the auditor's website and know what you paid for the place, how long you've owned it, how many bathrooms there are, what property taxes are, etc. The IRS knows how much you earn and what you spend on. The BMV knows how many and what kinds of cars you own. The information is all out there and even though they're bumbling idiots, they can probably pull information from all the respective local, state, and federal databases to paint a pretty clear picture of you and your family. They even have my finger prints on file even though I've never been arrested… once when I received my citizenship and then when I got my concealed carry permit.

    39. Chuck, Texas says:

      You folks who are quoting Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution would do well to quote all of the pertinent sentence: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." Many of you seem to be conveniently ignoring the part that says "…in such Manner as they [Congress] shall by Law direct."

      Incidentally, why are all comments dated March 12th, 2010 at 11:09am? Did Heritage's clock stop or was that an extremely busy moment on the server?

    40. Tina, Florida says:

      I received the 2010 census today. After reading the other comments I answered the questions. For "RACE" I used American-Texan (state I was born in). We are all Americans 1st, then the state we are born, ie. Texas = Texan, California = Californian, that is what I was taught in school.

      Some of my friends have received the longer so called census form asking a lot of personnel questions. Some had fun with it and other have not sent it back, waiting for the real census to show up. This multi page so called census is NOT the real census but I would call "fishing for your private information" disguise as the real census.

      Thank you for this blog.

    41. M says:

      I just read Title 13 and the worst fine you can get is $100

      it also states that a telegram or registered mail would be the proof for them that you have received it.

      So if you don't send anything back, they first have to send you this telegram. And only after that can they fine you upto $100

      By the way: regarding racial: they do not supply a definition of race ; what does an albino need to write down here. And what does a transgender or the unfortunate person with abnormal chromosomal counts not matching specific features?

    42. Jan says:

      Alex is right. They've already got all your i.d. I don't want to fill it out but what difference does it make? We looked on Google earth or some website and we could see our home and the cars in the driveway!! We are part of the "collective" from birth on!!

    43. JoeW says:


      e·nu·mer·ate (-nm-rt, -ny-)

      tr.v. e·nu·mer·at·ed, e·nu·mer·at·ing, e·nu·mer·ates

      1. To count off or name one by one; list:

      2. To determine the number of; count.

      The number of inhabitants seems about right to me. Easy there chuck.

    44. JoeW, Colorado says:


      e·nu·mer·ate (-nm-rt, -ny-)

      tr.v. e·nu·mer·at·ed, e·nu·mer·at·ing, e·nu·mer·ates

      1. To count off or name one by one; list:

      2. To determine the number of; count.

      The number of inhabitants seems about right to me. Easy there chuck.

    45. D. White says:

      Has anyone noticed the last sentence on the back of the census form, in the last blue box? It reads: "Respondents are not required to respond to any information collection unless it displays a valid approval number from the Office of Management and Budget." I can only find an OMB number following question number 4, which to me implies that all subsequent questions are not required by the OMB, and therefore are not required by Congress. If this is true, then name, age, gender, race, etc. are optional even by the Department of Commerce's standards.

      Any comments?

    46. JJ, Nevada says:

      Dear Chuck, Texas

      You said .. Many of you seem to be conveniently ignoring the part that says “…in such Manner as they [Congress] shall by Law direct.”

      Fine then.

      Give me the specific law that is in effect now that addresses this issue. I'm sure many would like to verify it's existence and read it.

    47. A. Cole says:

      Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution explicitly states: "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."

      "…Enumeration shall be made….in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." has NOTHING to do with the information the feds force us to divulge every ten years, but relates to the PROCEDURE THE GOVERNMENT WILL OPT TO USE TO COUNT THE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES!

      Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution further explicitly states:

      "The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three."

      "The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand,"

      That's 1 representative for every 30,000 AMERICAN CITIZENS…………..so why do we only have 435 representatives in the House? Because in 1929 the 70th Congress, only months before the great depression began, and less than one year before the next census, UNCONSTITUTIONALLY PASSED A LAW (known as 2 U.S.C. Sec.2.Election of Senators and Representatives) SETTING THE NUMBER OF REPRESENTATIVES AT 435!!! The states never ratified the change, and the Constitution was never amended!!!!


    48. kristine,miami,fla says:

      It use to be, when applying for voter registration, that there were only two races,black or white.. When I woild help soneone fill out their registration, to often they would want to name their country as a race or their religion, for example cuban or jewish. I suppose that it wouldn't hurt to add a few more colors, such as red and yellow or is it true that if we are citizens of this country we shoild all be considered US AMERICANS and that the color of our skin and the origin of our family's country is no longer ivaluable information on the census.

    49. Bill, NY says:

      While I agree with the sentiment of most here to only put the number of occupants in the premises, most of the other “private” information they request has already been collected by some government entity at some point. Any Joe Public can look up information about your house on the auditor’s website and know what you paid for the place, how long you’ve owned it, how many bathrooms there are, what property taxes are, etc. The IRS knows how much you earn and what you spend on. The BMV knows how many and what kinds of cars you own. The information is all out there and even though they’re bumbling idiots, they can probably pull information from all the respective local, state, and federal databases to paint a pretty clear picture of you and your family. They even have my finger prints on file even though I’ve never been arrested… once when I received my citizenship and then when I got my concealed carry permit.

      I see what your saying here Alex. Fortunately researching this information takes time and resources and those taking the census have little of both.

    50. Joel says:

      As a resident of Puerto Rico I am an american citizen but do not have the right to vote or to representation in congress.

      Then why do I have to fill out the census if it has already been determined that I do not count ?

    51. Jan, NC says:

      I have not provided any information other than the number of persons in the household. Let the beaurocrats with nothing better to do earn their pay.

    52. judy g. smith northp says:

      I think if the government would stop putting the legal citizens of this country into racial boxes and refer to us as American citizens. Treat us all the same and not have rules for this group and that group, we would get along a lot better. ( Not refer to one group as african american,etc.) The government is the one that continually seperates us and causes all the racial strife. It has been a long time since the time of slavery and everyone that was a slave has been dead a long time. We all have every opportunity to make what we want to of our selves and take personal responsibility for decisions that we make. We live in the greatest country in the world and we are blessed. If you take handouts from the government then you are letting them tell you what you can do, how much you can have and who to vote for, then you are a slave and the cycle begins all over again. So my advice is be free and be responsible citizens, love God, each other and our country. We should also stop changing our rules as a country for the people that migrate here. They should live by the rules here and learn the english language and become a legal citizen,pay taxes and not expect a freel ride.

    53. Randall Kempf Milwau says:

      Don't like it! But, good to know. Thanks.

    54. John, FL says:

      I only answered question #1 and put "NA" over the rest of them in permanent marker… in really BIG letters so nothing else could be filled in. Think I'm crazy? I worked for COUNTY government for over 17 years but the corruption and incompetence that was rampant finally got to my conscience and I walked away from a cake job. I saw records and forms falsified at the local level constantly. So if you think, "No way they'd do that," think again.

    55. Brad ,Orlando says:

      You really didn't say as a citizen of the U.S.A. all i have to answer is how many people live in your house ? Is that not what it says in our Constitution ?

    56. frank says:

      May I suggest that folks look at this article for guidance,


    57. Morgan, Central New says:

      While I agree with being against the intrusion of Government in our lives, and I personally don't plan on giving detailed information on some of the extraneous questions in this year's census, I've found some interesting (at least to me) info on previous census questions. Legal issues aside, it appears that this census is not appreciably different than most others from a historical perspective. The difference, in my mind, is a marked distrust of our current elected representatives. Again, in my opinion, that's justified and reasonable, but the census is not really the primary issue. I've picked three year's examples of census questions for this discussion. The source is Ancestry.com if you'd like to research further.

      1850:Name, age, sex and color of every person in the household.

      Occupation of each person over age 15.

      Value of real estate owned.

      Place of birth of each person.

      Was the person married within the year.

      Did the person attend school within the year.

      Can the person read and write. (only if over age 20).

      Is the person deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, a pauper or convict

      The 1850 census is the first Federal census which lists each individual by their name


      Questions Asked on the 1880 Census

      In a city, house number and street name.

      Name, age, sex and color of every person in the household.

      If a person was born within the year, the month of birth was given.

      Relationship of each person to the Head of Household.

      Is the person single, married, widowed or divorced.

      Was the person married within the year.

      Occupation of each male.

      Occupation of each female.

      How many months was the person unemployed during the census year.

      Whether or not a person was sick or temporarily disabled, and if so, the nature of the illness.

      Whether a person was blind, deaf, dumb, idiotic, insane, maimed, crippled, bedridden or permanently disabled.

      Did the person attend school within the year.

      Can the person read and write.

      Place of birth of each person.

      Place of birth of each person's mother.

      Place of birth of each person's father.

      Questions Asked on the 1900 Census

      House number and street name for city dwellers.

      Name and sex of every person in the household.

      Relationship of each person to the head of household.

      Color or race of each person.

      Month and year of birth of each person and their age on their last birthday.

      Is the person single, married, widowed or divorced.

      How long has the person been married.

      How many children born to females and how many are still living.

      Place of birth of each person.

      Mother's place of birth.

      Father's place of birth.

      If an immigrant, the year of immigration to the United States.

      How long an immigrant has been in the United States.

      Is the person naturalized?

      Profession, occupation or trade of each person over age 10.

      Number of months a person was unemployed in the year.

      Did the person attend school within the year.

      Can the person read and write.

      Can the person speak English.

      Does the family own or rent the home, is it mortgaged, is it a farm or a house

      While they may not have specific legal right to ask the questions they ask, and you may have every legal right to refuse to answer questions that are not specified in the Constiututional statute, I really don't think this year's census is any more sinister or intrusive than previous ones were.

    58. Tom Gardner says:

      Thanks for the information. I am responding, Number of people name and sex. Period. That is the way I interpret article 1, sec 2, Paragraph 3, of the Constitution, which the curent government seems to ignore. Isn't there an oath somewhere that says something about support, protect and defend? What about it Mr. President?

    59. Jerome Lackner, Scra says:

      I received my census package in the middle of March. The cover letter says to return the census form right away, but the questions ask how many people live at the premises on April 1. If I comply with the cover letter and send the form in right away, how will I know with certainty how many people will be living at my address on April, 1?

    60. Erik, Darien, Il says:

      I answered ONLY the first question (1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April1, 2010?) on U.S. Census Bureau form D-1 (12-5-2008) that I received, and returned it with a copy of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2.

      I also pointed out to the Census Department that on THEIR OWN FORM / QUESTIONNAIRE right under "Start Here" on the top left of page one it states "The Census must count every person living in the United States on April 1, 2010." The question (#1) that this refers to is the ONLY one I answered. Nowhere else on this document are there instructions explaining that I "MUST" answer any other questions.

      We'll see what happens, and I'll keep you posted.

    61. Donald Hauser Chula says:

      Since all my grandparents came from Europe, that makes me a Europñean-American and that is the way I intend to answer the intruders.

    62. Donald Hauser Chula says:

      Since I am a European-American, that is how I intend to answer the social intruders.

    63. Michelle Kenyon says:

      Sadly all of the fuss about the census reflects how much the American people have come to distrust all of our elected representatives and the current president. I have never filled out one of these with such an overwhelming question of what are they really going to do with this information. The constant issue about race perplexes me. I feel the government is the biggest offender. I also wonder why it matters how many people have resided at this residence if only my age on April 1, 2010 is pertinent. Again only how many in residence on April 1, 2010 should matter.Also, the mailing of a notice that the census was coming was a horrible waste of taxpayer money!! Mar.21, 2010 5.35 PM

    64. Velda Milani - Vacav says:

      The other questions they are asking is regarding whether or not you own your home or rent – and if you own do you own it outright or is it mortgaged. This is very invasive and has nothing to do with counting people. It is also very frightening. We have now become afraid of our own government. This is tyranny!!

    65. Joe York Lincoln, CA says:

      Would answering the Race question as "human" be considered a misunderstanding such as answering length of residence as 60 feet?

      It seems a question that could be interpretted different ways if someone considers themselves to be a Vampire, Werewolf or an extraterrestrial type Alien (not neccesarily illegal). There's enough insanity and foolishness with the census (including the Obama administrations' attempt to relocate the census bureau to the White House early 2009) that a sincerely deluded individual could get away with a whacky answer. So what is wrong with being human. I'm of European decent, but I don't like to be called "White". I'm mostly beige and pink with some brown, orange and red spots here and there. I have a black and blue spot where I fell down down. I'm not white anywhere and I don't glow in the dark. Maybe I'm colored. That doesn't make me black does it?

    66. Sondra Florida says:

      "Native American" means Indian – the people who lived here before the Europeans arrived. If you put "Native American" as your answer to the race question, you will be telling the government you are an Indian. Being born in the United States does not make you a "Native American".

    67. Paula, New York says:

      I think Lori in Akron is accurate in there being a hidden meaning (known only to the Census Bureau) behind the principal enumeration question boldly set aside within a blue box and all other questions excluded from that box. My family and I have answered questions 1, 2 and 10 (dealing with enumeration). All others do not apply to the stated purpose of the Census thus we have marked them as Not Applicable.

      Americans are truly living under tyranny as indicated by the very existence of this Foundry posting entitled "To Answer or Not to Answer the Census…that is the question". It is only the enlightened among us who understand that all men are created equal and thus race is of no importance. As members of the human race we ALL are part white, black, native american, asian, etc. One can truthfully check every box, therefore we did!

    68. Norm, Washington Sta says:

      This census form is almost all racial. Who knows what their race truely is? If you are 3/4 white and 1/4 black and have dark skin are you black or white? If you are 1/2 black and 1/2 white and have a dark skin are you white or black? We are all Americans, so I just put in for race U.S. citizen – American.

      On the form itself. It seems that the forms are different for various states. The Washington State form requested your age, birthdate, gender, if you owned your own home, was it paid for or did it have a loan on it, how many lived in it, and the rest of the form was all racial. Who made up this form, the Democrats?

    69. Steve, Georgia says:

      My biggest concern is providing my family's dates of birth. I only submitted our ages due to not knowing what happens to the forms once they are received. I asked a census trainer what happens to the forms and he said, "I don't know, the census bureau will dispose of them I guess!" Not good enough! With all the identity fraud these days, why would/should we provide personal information that we do not know how it will be dispensed or protected. Think about it….

    70. Sandy, Ohio says:

      It is my belief that they are asking the race question because they plan on redistricting areas for voting purposes. I think they will place the new district lines based on which races are more likely to vote Democrat giving those areas more power in deciding who is elected next time. Just a thought.

    71. Sandy, Ohio says:

      PS has anyone noticed the date and time of each comment is the same for everyone? I actually posted this 3-24-10 at 4:25 ET. Just an observation.

    72. Nope Arlington Virgi says:

      I sent the form back with just the enumeration of one resident and my gender. I also wrote in the birth date part that I was an adult. The latter two elements are bonuses since the Constitution only requires the count. Last year I received the incredibly long and invasive Community Survey. I didn't send it in. I fielded a couple of calls, had something left on my door (on the odd time they were able to get into the apartment building), but ignored all. Eventually they stopped trying.

      I am doing this as a protest against the Census's claims of confidentiality, which are completely bogus. They collaborated in the round up of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans, street by street, most of whom were citizens. Then the bureau lied about it for decades until scholars found all the smoking gun documents. A few years ago, 2003 or 2004 I believe, they provided data on Arab Americans to Homeland Security as well, again despite claims that they do not provide such data to other agencies. I would note that most people of Arab heritage in the United States are Christian and that immigration dates back to the 19th century. at least. Regardless, Christian or Muslim, it was a scary preparation for a potential repeat of the Japanese scenario. See EPIC's FOIA request on the matter.

      The Census has also posted confidential data on the Net by accident, and Census workers have lost dozens of lap tops with confidential data. This and the Constitution is why I will not comply.

    73. Monica, Catonsville, says:

      I've already sent our census form in w/the barest of information(i.e. first name only, ages w/o birthdays). Specifically, when it came to race I filled in "Human American" for all 6 members of my household. This was before I read this blog. I've heard so many versions of what we can put. Should I expect to see a census taker at my door sometime soon?

    74. Anne, IL says:

      At least there are lots of Americans standing up to the U.S. Census Bureau. We need to take back our country and our freedoms. We are now living under tyranny, because we are afraid of our own Government. Our founding fathers would be ashamed of us if they could see us now.

    75. Julie says:

      Just fill out the form correctly and stop wasting my tax dollars. It cost more to send someone to your house than it does to have them call you if they think something wasn't right. Did you cry over this in 2000 when we all did this last time?

    76. Pingback: Census 2010-More Questions than Answers « Inner City Squall

    77. Thia, Denver, CO says:

      I put "I DECLINE TO PROVIDE THIS" with an asterisk and reference to the above "US Constitution, Article 1, Sec 2" – All they stipulate is that you "answer honestly to the best of your ability" and that's the truth: I DECLINE TO PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION! We'll see what happens… I have no problem providing my race, even birthdate. They just don't need my name and phone number – not that I'm hiding or anything, and I pay my taxes – it just seems a little invasive and unnecessary. They'll use the information to cross-reference us in other ways, I'm sure…

    78. alan, Fl says:

      Crappy answer. Notice that on the front of the census form from where it says: use a blue pen, down to the first question – all of that is in one box by itself. All the rest is not distinguished as is the first question in its own box. Regardless of whether this means anything or not, you should have a constitutional scholar answer this question. What if they had put 15 questions, or 150 questions?

    79. Donna - Virginia says:

      I answered “American” for race. I checked and many have answered that way in the past. “Chinese,” “Pacific Islander,” Hispanic” etc. are not races. They are ethnic backgrounds and my ethnic background is American. I doubt I will give them my birth date. Too much identity theft around.

    80. Lee Brewer, 17201 says:

      A personal note to census takers.

      How important is the money you are earning? It will provide for your basic needs and, therefore, you deem it essential – especially in hard economic times like these.

      However, did you take the time to think about what you are being asked to do? Just a tiny bit of research will show you the Constitution is the supreme authority of the land – yes, even above congress. The Constitution clearly states the census is an enumeration of the people for the purpose of deciding the number of governmental representatives that these people will elect.

      Beyond this, there is no Constitutional mandate for any other information to be collected. You probably have not thought of it in these terms before, but you are being used to collect private information from individuals, under the guise of legality, that is helping our future generations to be raped of their freedoms!

      Will your children/grandchildren have the freedom of privacy if this mindset is allowed to continue? Instead, would it not be a much better task to be educating people that the government’s powers were limited by the Constitution to protect individual freedoms and privacy? Is the money paid to you for this job worth being a part of stripping away your children’s futures?

      Of course, in our minds, we justify what we call “little” actions such as taking part in collecting invasive census questions by saying that “everyone else is doing it,” and/or “well, what will the little part I am playing hurt?” Each ant in an anthill only does a tiny bit of work, but the vast number of ants each doing their small part makes for some astounding feats that affect the entire colony.

      What is more important to you – the money, or the freedoms our Constitution gives us? A person with no conscience and no appreciation for living in a free country will not even take the time to ponder this question. May those who died in battle to help us retain our personal freedoms forgive our land for spitting in their faces!

    81. Russ, KY says:

      People wise up and answer just what is imposed by the Constitution and nothing else. Question 1 is all they need to perform "enumeration" otherwise known as a head count. They need this to determine political assignment of representatives in the House (Senators are 2 per state regardless of size) and to allocate or disperse federal funds that are population based. Nothing more needs to be filled in and should not be filled in. If the feds sent a form to you asking for your bank account number and PIN with some USC numbered threat of fines would you fill it in? Hell no you wouldn't so why fill all the rest of this in? They don't need it and they want to see how many lemmings follow the lead over the cliff. Don't toss it or leave it on the counter though because then you under cut the enumeration process and eventually your area or state is seeing less for schools, highways, etc.

      They only need question one filled in for how many people regularly reside there as of April 1. No need to put NA or other in Q2 through 10. Open the envelope, write in 01, 02, 03, 04…10, 11, etc – whatever applies to the number of humans in the household. Slap it in, wet the glue, seal the flap and slam it in the mailbox. Done. If you get a strange visitor to the door – don't answer. If you answer and fine it's a census worker politely tell them to leave and close the door. Same as you would with a solicitor. I have done this with the 1980, 1990 and 2000 census (and I was in the military living on base in 90) and my 2010 was filled in with Q1 only as well. 2020 will also be just the number of people as well.

    82. Russ, KY says:

      Site owner – the date shows March 12 on this site, it is actually March 29th. Your server's date is likely off a little.

    83. Pingback: Census 2010: Am I Breaking the Law? « Remnant Culture

    84. erin, nj says:

      For race I've decided to put "marathon runner."

    85. Mr Luck, NY says:

      I agree with others – the special box drawn around Question #1 is likely an indication it alone is all that the census is required to ask. That is what I provided.

      Please notice that there is no place for a signature on the census document. It cannot be proven whether a particular individual did or did not complete the information. If there are ten non-related residents at an address, who is on the hook for completing the form?

      There is also no provision that the form must be returned by a traceable delivery service.

      Should the situation arise to a legal matter, one can testify that they completed and returned the form.

    86. Betty Lincoln East L says:

      I also entered in the race section AMERICAN!

      I also did not give my personal unlisted phone number.

      Isn't the census supposedf to just count people????

    87. pissed off american says:

      another way for the government to control us like lab rats and give more stuff to people that dont contribute to society! although it does sound appealing to have less represenatives that dont voice our opinions anyways so lose em! also how much did we spend on those stupid census ads and keychains? i want my money back please include giving my money back on the stimulus package, heath care bill, and welfare people!

    88. Pingback: 2010 U.S. Census: Are We the April Fools? | Mitt Romney Central

    89. Karen WA says:

      It seems the law states that we MUST answer every question on the Census, but since the questions come from Presidential Mandate rather than the law, isn't there some room for a legal argument against every question being a legitimate inquiry. What I mean is that it is illegal to ask a person about their race nor their health insurance during an job application. Doesn't the law stand in conflict with itself if in a different situation we are now required to answer what in other situations would be an illegal inquiry?

    90. REES LLOYD says:

      I've read your response, but it doesn't answer what I consider the most obvious question: Claim of Fifth Amendment rights.

      Why can't the 5th Amendment be the "answer" to all questions except the first, pertaining to "how many" persons are resident at the address, since the only Constitutional duty imposed on the federal government is to "enumerate," i.e., to count the number of people, not the color of their skin or the size of their noses.

      Further, it is extremely dangerous to answer any question posed by the federal government, as an error can become a crime, or a truthful response can be contested by a third-person with a nefarious interest. Ask Martha Stewart. Or Scooter Libby. Or Karl Rove. What is a "false" answer to the question regarding Obama's race? Is it in the eye of the beholder; his eye; FBI?

    91. david wallace winter says:

      did not receive census form.what should i do.

    92. Patrick M Henry, Tex says:

      I answered Question #1 and "American" for the ethnicity question.

      Regarding the claim in the article above that someone can be prosecuted for their Census answers or lack thereof is in curious conflict with not only the U.S. Constitution, but the Census Bureau's own memo (dated March 15th) included with their form:

      On the back side of their enclosed memo, it states:

      "Federal law protects your privacy and keeps your answers confidential (Title 13 United States Code, Sections 9 and 214). The answers you give on the census form cannot be obtained by law enforcement or tax collection agencies. Your answers cannot be used in court. They cannot be obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request."

      Additionally, there is no due date provided anywhere on the mailed documentation and if you mail it in when the memo states "today" you would have mailed it in advance of the date of the Census question itself… "as of April 1st, 2010. … No fooling.

      A few related quotes from "the Gipper" :

      “No one should have a vested interest in poverty or dependency, … these tragedies must never be looked at as a source of votes for politicians or paychecks for bureaucrats."

      "There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts."

      - Ronald Reagan

      Reveal, Repeal and Replace: all forms of tyranny and socialism.

    93. csh says:

      democrats are trash

    94. LJ, Wisconsin says:

      My questions is this: HOW does the Census Bureau KNOW you are giving a false answer if this is supposed to be so "private" and "confidential?"

      Second, a comment: although the lower courts have made rulings in favor of the stasi's "right" to obtain this information, the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the constitutionality of the questions (other than enumeration, which means to count) the government is demanding, not asking for. These "other" questions should be VOLUNTARY and not mandatory. Regarding those laws congress passed stating the penalties and expansion of the questions–they CONTRADICT Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution and therefore are illegal on that ground alone!

      I received the census yesterday and I am sending it back the same way I sent back the SAME long form they us in the fall of last year (2009): number of people living at this address, PERIOD!

      The LAST thing the illegal congressional idiots that make and pass laws want is a Supreme Court challenge to the additional questions NOT granted under the Constitution. They know they will lose if the now liberal-packed Supreme Court does their duty and upholds the Constitution.

      I believe there is a video or at least an audio of a congressman stating that he DOESN'T CARE of a bill to become law is Constitutional! Can you believe that? He has taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and here he is stating he will not. Out with the bum. If you want to find out who he is, just Google it and I'm sure it will come up.

      Lastly, the justice department doesn't have enough resources to prosecute everybody who doesn't answer the census and the more people who don't, the better. This is the only way to affect and ineffective and impotent congress.

      BTW, did you know that the census bureau, in spite of their lies about not sharing or giving out your personal information does it anyway? I have proof. I was checking my credit record at Experian last week and came across some numbers at the bottom of my address and when i mouse over them I got this message: "“This information is received from the Census Bureau and represents the state, Metropolitan Statistical Area, county, tract and block group of the reported address. This code is similar to a ZIP code.” Now, if this is NOT sharing information, no matter how small or insignificant to you, it is still a breach of the government's promise to keep the information confidential and private. Yeah, I trust the government like I would trust Judas giving me a kiss the betray me.

    95. Free, Maine says:

      I read most comments and didn't see anyone mention that the census is confidential and that the census bureau cannot provide any information to any other agency. Since the census bureau is not a policing agency my understanding is that they would have to turn your name over to the justice department in order to levy a fine and since doing that would be a direct violation of the census department's own code it is very unlikely that they will fine anyone.

    96. Chris Markleeville C says:

      I received and filled out the census form (how many in the household, age, and human). About 2 weeks later we received a American Community Survey from the Census Bureau. This is the one that asks personal questions and wants your name and the names who live here. I did not fill it out. I received another one 2 weeks later, once again I did not fill it out. I received another one 2 weeks later, and I did not fill that one out. Today, (Sunday) I received a telephone call. It was from the Census Bureau asking if I filled out the survey. I told them that it was unconstitutional. She told me in that I have to fill it out according to Title 13 U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193. It imposes a penalty if not responded to. I told her that I filled out the Census form, but I will not do this survey. She asked if I was refusing to fill it out. I told her yes. I assume that I will fined. Welcome to America, land of the free!

    97. Al says:

      You are REQUIRED to answer how many people are living at the address on April 1, 2010, the NAMES OF THOSE PEOPLE, and their gender. If you don't answer those questions you WILL be visited again, if you refuse it is documented and you will be fined, and your neighbors are bothered for the answers until a neighbor is found who can answer the questions.

    98. Al, Colorado says:

      You are REQUIRED to answer how many people reside at the house, the names of those people, their ages, and their gender. If you refuse to answer your house will be visited up to three more times before it is turned over and you are fined. Additionally, if YOU refuse to answer YOUR neighbors will be bothered until the enumerator is able to find a neighbor who knows the answer.

    99. Dianna, Corpus Chris says:

      Come on people. You are all making this out to be more than it is. The only questions the 2010 Census asks is how many people were living or staying in the residence on April 1st, Names, Relationship, Sex, Age & DOB, Origin & Race, if you rent or pay on a mortgage, the name of the respondent, and your phone number for quality assurance. The United States has been doing the census since 1790 and I don't think America would be the country it is today if they hadn't. The race question is asked to make sure that civil liberties and EEOC are in compliance. That is a good thing. How hard is it people!? You are all just going against the system because you don't understand why. Educate yourself and respond to the census. A few minutes of your time every ten years is not that bad, not even close. If you all had responded to the questionnaire you received in the mail like the government asked, no one would be knocking on your door.

    100. Freedom Loving Sandy says:

      Begrudgingly filled out the 2010 Census. Filled out every question to prevent what just happened to me today; a census worker came to my door. He had a briefcase with 'Census 2010' on it. Taken aback, I explained to him I sent ours in and filled in all of the questions as soon as it was received it. He explained our name didn't make it on the Master List. Where is our private information? Why was there a census worker at my door? My husband had to send me into the house, I admit I lost it. Wandering how many other people sent these forms in to find it was for naught. Thanks for providing a vehicle to vent.

    101. Todd, California says:

      It is sad that Al/Colorado and Dianna/Corpus Christi TX, like the majority in this country now, don’t understand the U.S. Constitution or life itself. We are given unalienable rights by our Creator – if you are alive, you have these collective rights, the right to be free. The concept of freedom is no longer understood by most because it essentially doesn’t exist any longer, certainly not in the form this country’s founders enjoyed or envisioned. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t give us “rights”, our Creator does. The Constitution of this country merely guarantees the citizens (and in a limited way, inhabitants), that the rights already given by GOD will not be usurped by government. It was not meant to tell the people what they had to do for the government, but rather what the government had to do for the people – it was meant to limit the power of the government upon the people’s freedom.

      The question in this census should not be: “what can these questions hurt?”, but rather “If the U.S. Constitution mandates only an enumeration for apportioning our representatives in government, why would we even allow the government to go beyond question #1 in this census?”. People need to start thinking logically again – we should not have to justify why we don’t want to give up our rights, rather the government has to justify how they can violate the U.S. Constitution’s clear mandates which limit government at all levels strictly to the authority this document gives it, and nothing more.

    102. 2nd AmendMom, CO says:

      While I originally believed, as you all seem to, that the Census was Constitutionally limited to ask only questions relating to number of people per household, when I researched it further, I found that the Constitution gives authority to Congress to make any law necessary to perform enumeration duties. "Enumeration shall be made…in such manner as they [Congress] shall, by law, direct." The "law" Congress made is Title 13 of the US Code which spells out everything the Census Bureau is allowed to do. Because the Constitution gives the authority to Congress to make this law, it is enforceable, whether we like it or not.

      Further, there is historical precedent from the first census March 1, 1790 to inquire about race, age, occupation and name as part of the process of enumeration, AND to set up a fine for failing to cooperate with enumerators (or Marshals as they were called back then) so I no longer believe it's correct to say you only need to state the number of people in the household.

      That being said, I still have some unanswered questions: Does the way the census is being performed today violate my 4th Amendment right against unfair search/seizure without probable cause/warrant? Can my answers be subpoenaed by law enforcement, and if they can, can I invoke my 5th Amendment rights as a way to avoid giving them?

    103. J says:

      To the person who asked the Census enumerators to stop and think about what they are doing.

      First, what do you do for a living? Does it in anyway negatively impact the environment, the health and well being of future generations, Does it involve killing animals for food (many people object to this) etc.? If no, then great!

      Secondly, I recently found my fathers family (he will be 90) in the 1930 Census documents. They were asked, back then, for Their names, ages, occupation, etc., all neatly hand written in a ledger. As far as I know none of them was "raped" of their freedoms. My father was a WWII veteran also.

      If you want to "push back" against your government, then do so, but don't blame the census taker. They are on the bottom of the Dept of Commerce food chain.

      Just my 2 cents worth.

    104. Captain Ramius says:

      It's funny how some folks who pretend to want to follow the Constitution have no trouble picking and choosing the laws they wish to follow (re: the Census).

      Folks can choose to answer or not answer. And may or may not be fined for taking a pass.

      There is, however, no reason to treat Census workers — many of whom are just tyring to earn a few extra bucks while they can over 2 months — like they are subhuman Obamanauts. Some of us are actually voted for Reagan.

      If you choose not to answer, don't, just don't be a jerk about it.

      The funny thing about the multitudes who choose to ignore what Jefferson, Madison et. al. hath wraught here is that virtually all the information sought in the Census can be gathered on-line in minutes.

      So, in a sense, the government already "knows who you are."

      – Not so Big Brother

    105. B Wan, USA says:

      How does the Justice Department know who to prosecute of all the answers are confidential?

    106. Kyle Hyde, Encino says:

      You people are all very stupid. I am a libertarian, and I do think most of the census questions are stupid and unnecessary.

      But a lot of you did not research before posting your uninformed answers. In 1790, the first census, they asked names along with some other questions. Also, the supreme court ruled (in either 1870 or 1901 can't remember) that it was constitutional to ask more questions than just those for enumeration purposes. They felt it was fine to gather statistical information. While that might not be proper, don't make it seem like this expansion of government is something new. It has been going on ever since Jefferson bought all that land with the Louisiana Purchase.

      Don't make your objections to government look stupid!

    107. Kurt, Maryland says:

      I disagree with the author. The only question we are obligated to answer is the one on how many people live in your home. That is it. Article 1, Section 2 (middle of paragraph 3) states, "The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by law direct."

      Enumeration means counting and in this case its sole purpose is to determine the amount of representatives allocated to each state. That is its only and primary purpose. Anything beyond that purpose would require a ratified Amendment to the United States Constitution. As far as the "Manner as they shall by law direct", that only relates to how they do the counting, not what they count.

      Therefore, thay have only the right to determine and ask how many people reside in your dwelling. Anything beyond that is a violation of your individual rights as a free citizen.

    108. russ virginia says:

      whats the big deal so they want to know your birthday and what color you are. you give out more info on your tax return and bank cards then the census wants. google yourself or your address and seee what you find. the info is already out there

    109. Rebecca Texas says:

      I have had 2 different people come to my door asking for information and with all of the news casts of people coming around claiming to be with the census, I have refused to give them information. The last person even knocked on my door for about 5 mins after I told her to leave. It got to the point that my husband (a local police officer) had to flash his badge to get the lady to leave and then she still tried to argue with him about how it was her constitutional right to knock on my door!!!! Well I hate to tell her it is my constitutional right to shoot her next time she refuses to move her #$% off my property!

    110. Abbey Concord, CA says:

      We didn't send in our census. A person from the Census Bureau came to our door and my husband answered some questions and the lady left thanking him for his answers. We are now receiving harrassing phone calls from the Bureau stating we need to give more information and that we are mandated by law to do this. Is this lawful? The lady was satified with the answers he gave.

    111. Jane Westminster, CO says:

      Weeks ago a census worker came by and we told him number of people in house and gender, N/A on the rest. Today, a census woman bangs on my door, I told her politely we already filled it out, she said,

      Do I need to call the Sheriff right now?

      That was it, last straw…I went out side, I told her that if she Ever threatens me again at my home I will call the A.C.L.U. [my husband did call and report her] Then she started to argue, hand me a form, I told her I would not fill our the race or form, that it was not Constitutional or necessary, she hands me some bogus form that only had threats, no law, and I politely told her I would contact a lawyer.

      She was very rude and I am livid. To be threatened with arrest in MY HOME, for telling her I had filled it out,

      is an OUTRAGE, totalitarian KGB tactics. That is exactly what this is,

      as a family with a survivor of the Holocaust, we will NOT be filling our race, religion, or number of rooms. I will stand firm on this, as a Leftist, as a Women's Human Rights Activist [who in no way has any respect for a nation that says Nothing to object to Iran being the UN leader now on women's human rights, a nation Notorious for raping with impunity young girls] and as a Human Rights activist,

      to sign this unneeded information to me is to Agree with the governments committing genocide, internment, civil rights violations, women's rights violations and I will have no part of that. I have not forgotten Japanese Internment and I will never,

      sign on any line, making it possible for the government to have that kind of tyranny power to pick people for race or religion, at their whim, to commit human right abuses. It is a violation of my political conscience and my religious beliefs,

      I bow to ONE GOD America, and it's not the Government. The Constitution requires I give the number of residents and that is it. [we included gender] I draw the line, with income, number of rooms, religion, race, etc. I obeyed the Constitutional requirements therefore I obeyed the authorities as mentioned in Bible, however, I will not obey, any law or requirement, forced or otherwise, that I believe is sinful or could lead up to sinful,

      our nation has a History of abusing rights based on race, I will not be part of that in the future. To do so would be a violation of every human rights action I have taken part in and stood for. It makes me furious, that I was threatened, with Arrest, before even opening my door or even mentioning that I wouldn't fill out the rest.

      I am in Colorado, this happened in Westminster, I want this nation to know what transpired and why I am taking the stand I am. Also I am somewhat politically leftist, I know for a FACT, that the government census does Nothing to provide services, services simply do not work that way in Any community. Especially for the low income, women and the homeless…so there is no way I will be signing this draconian despotic form. The day they try to force me

      they better have that Yellow Jewish Star ready with the number tattooed on my arm on National Television. Because that is the only way because that I believe is the Only reason this long form invasive Constitutional violation census is being threatened to us. It is not because I want to be a non-supportive Citizen, not at all, nor am I crazy. But I will not support a government nor bow to one that has clearly made it very vocal and public their support, with the Iran in the UN and numerous other policies, of blatant human right violations and even supporting genocide via policies. [their record for supporting despots who rule the abuse of children is horrid, e.g. Obama and the leader of Saudi Arabia–there is no way, NO WAY, I will sign my name in support or Consent, to any government that Sanctions the rapes of 8 year old girls by forced marriages, NO WAY…

      and they want me to blindly trust them in filling out unnecessary private information and race? Years ago I remember filling out a Census that had none of these questions nor did it require race,

      why NOW? It wreaks of something extremely sinister, and even more so, with over 400 political prisoners of conscience, many of them women who are fighting for the Basic of human rights, rights even Animals have more of, in Iran, and OUR GOVERNMENT didn't object Once, to Iran being the agency for women's human rights at the United Nations, a nation that sanctions the gang rapes of girls in prison,

      this is a stand, that I believe has a lot more to do with than just privacy rights. For me, it is a Stand, for Human Rights, not just here, but elsewhere. If the United States Government feels they have the Right to threaten arrest of citizens who for political conscious reasons do not fill out the form, they should focus on their own record, when they Insist on 'race' they are not doing it for district voting, hardly,

      they are doing it, as they did before, when they rounded up the Japanese for internment, which I do not believe there has Ever been reparations for that yet. I will NOT sign, the race or the other questions. Let the Government Prove their respect for Human Rights, they have failed in this, even recently, therefore I do NOT trust them nor will I give Consent to their policies, to do so would be giving my permissions for these rights violations, one that I simply cannot and will not do.


      Westminster, Colorado

    112. Fran Shirer says:

      I filled out our census form and returned it, as soon as it came. We have a college student who lives at home part-time and at school part-time. I have received follow-up calls from the Census Bureau ostensible wanting to clarify the "college student" to make sure he is not counted twice. The problem is that none of the questions have anything to do with someone being a college student. They have asked if anyone has been in a nursing home, a domestic violence shelter…. These questions feel extremely irrelevant and intrusive. Are they legal?

    113. anonymous texas says:

      Actually, question #7. on the census form specifically asks, "Does (name) sometimes live or stay somewhere else for any of these reasons?- and lists "In college housing" as one of several potential answers. Enumeraters (the people actually taking the info for the census)-do not ask any question having to do with "domestic violence". They also ask if someone has been in jail or prison or not living at their usual address for "another reason"–If someone purporting to be working for the census asks you such a question, you should report them. Census workers must show their ID badge. All of the info collected is strictly confidential and cannot be released for 72 years.

    114. Harry-O says:

      After trashing the census paperwork three times, and after throwing two other census workers off my property – today I gave the Enumeration – that was it. She asked for our names, phone number, etc. I refused – I stayed within my constitutional right. Now if the rest of the country would do that – we would be much better off and dispose of class warfare that this administration wants so desperately!

    115. Anonymous says:

      Wow, you guys are REALLY amazing. *rolls eyes* I'm sorry, but.. I know someone working for the census, personally. And you're making their job VERY hard. Chain up your dogs, be polite and answer the 10 SIMPLE questions. Which include, name, date of birth, race, if you are of Hispanic heritage, if you stay anywhere else (nursing home, college housing, etc.), if you own or rent your home. The rest of the information is verifying the information you just gave the enumerator. My friends works hard every day, has his boss breathing down his neck, it's incredibly hot outside and to top that off, he's jobless when he's done taking the census. Help him out. It's not that hard.

    116. Wisconsin says:

      Can anyone give me a web address that states my LEGAL rights when it comes to answering the questions on the census? (other then the census web site) I answered the first question and mailed it back within the first week I got it.

      A census worker showed up at my door this week and I told her I had already filled the census out. She stated that it must have arrived late and she needed me to answer her questions. I told her how many people live at this address and that was all the information she was getting from me. A few days later I have a census note hanging on my door "please call" Today she is at my door again this time I didn't answer and no note.

    117. Wisconsin says:

      Heritage. . . this site is posting the wrong dates. Today is June 3, 2010

    118. Erica, CT says:

      I want to be counted…and I am glad the Census wants to know my race and I am glad to provide the information. I don't want my origin to get "lost". I don't care if I'm in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world my origin is important to me…just because I was born here doesn't mean I don't have a past. I am not just American and I like to express that in any way I can.

      I am a census enumerator and you don't know how many times I've come across people that say "well, I'm part German, Italian, Philapine" that is great that they want to be recognized that way.

      I am multi-racial and I put that down!

    119. Resident Apt. 1 Wash says:

      "Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile" It started in 1790 with a couple of questions and now look where we are. The census was used during WWII to round up legitimate Japanese-Americans and place them in internment camps. The census was used in 2001 to profile and track legitimate Arab-American citizens. Hitler first used a census to tag all the Jews. Then he inititated gun control for Jews. When he had the Jews where he wanted them, well you know what happened next. Will you be rounded up next?

      The census worker can visit up to six times. The census worker can legally ask your neighbors questions about you as long as the neighbor is 16 or older.

      You have the right to question your census worker with the Public Servant Questionnaire.

      You can include a letter to the Census Bureau in your unanswered American Community Survey if you choose to return it unanswered.

      There is a bill before Congress to make the American Community Survey completely voluntary. To learn about these and other Census Bureau issues please visit:

    120. Chris Rockwell, Tamp says:

      I've noticed that a lot of people have a disagreement with answering certain census questions. I think that the census is the wrong target. The data gathered from the Census is completely private per title 13. Giving the data does not lessen you privacy or right to privacy. It simply provides valuable data that can be used to calculate representation and that can be used to for federal programs. Make no mistake, the federal programs that we disagree with will continue regardless, they will simply continue in an even less efficient, less informed manner. Not mailing in your census when you receive it, and then giving census takers a hard time accomplishes only one thing: Increasing the cost of conducting the census to us, the tax payers. Make your stand by electing officials who will represent your interests during election time. Get the federal programs being run more consistent with your goals and purposes as a US citizen (or eliminated entirely).

    121. Joyce (Maine) says:

      When it came to the Name portion of the questionnaire, I answered Jane Doe. Can I be fined for this?

    122. Robert M. Keane, 674 says:

      I have completed and and mailed two written census forms-they apperently lost one. I also am getting telephone surveyors identifying themselves as Census takers "verifying" the info I previously submitted. They claim federal law requires my responses, even though they acknowledge receipt of my written forms. Am I required to submit to further interrogation? What if a census Nazi shows up on my doorstep? Do I have to go through another interrogation? Can I volunteer to be water-boarded instead? Respectfully, Robert Keane

    123. Kristina Enumerator, says:

      ****I JUST COMPLETED MY TIME WORKING FOR THE U.S CENSUS BUREAU*** and I really wish americans would stop doing what they do best- BITCH- and do what real, productive american citizens should be doing- trying to help the government decide what to do for the next ten years.

      just to let all you jackass AM-ERR-CANS know, they use the numbers and statistics from the info the population gives about age and race to help determine funding for a number of government funded programs local, state and federal.

      The Census Bureau compiles all the information from the questionnaires and then distributes it to states. This data, WHICH IN NO WAY IDENTIFIES INDIVIDUALS (because believe me, youre not that special, the government doesnt have time to plot against YOU), is used to allocate more than $400 billion in federal funding. Thats over 4 trillion over the a 10 year period. The largest amount of funding (more than half of this $400 billion) goes directly to Medicaid and ensuring that all people living in the U.S. can afford health care. Title I funding for low-income schools is the second largest amount of funding allocated after Medicaid. Other sources of funding include the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Community Development Block Grants to help people attain affordable housing.

      Census information is also shared with local governments and businesses. These groups take the data and draw voting district lines so that each person is represented fairly, making sure each person’s vote counts. Businesses use this data to decide where to put new grocery store locations and housing units. Schools are built accordingly depending on fluctuations in population. Roads are placed to facilitate traffic flow and public transportation is routed to serve the most people.

      Age is wanted because they want to make sure the young and the old in our communities are provided for as necessary. As for the question concerning race, I guess it doesn't really matter if you are white/caucasian if you answer it or not because you are just a part of the majority, it doesn't really make a difference if one person refuses, its their loss as they are not being represented.

      "There are programs that provide services-many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census (i.e., promoting equal employment opportunities; assessing racial disparities in health and environmental risks). Race data are also critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements. The data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions. Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes (i.e., enforcing bilingual election rules under the Voting Rights Act; monitoring and enforcing equal employment opportunities under the Civil Rights Act). Data on Ethnic Groups are also needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements (i.e., identifying segments of the population who may not be receiving medical services under the Public Health Act; evaluating whether financial institutions are meeting the credit needs of minority populations under the Community Reinvestment Act) "

      That’s a lot of information, but the census does a lot. If you don’t return your questionnaire, none of this can happen.

      The country cannot even attempt to run properly without updating information about who they are trying to function for. You cannot expect a government to function properly without trying to gather information in order to change with the fluctuating face of our nation. How does this not make sense to you?

      plus, as an enumerator, if a person says, i dont want my name on it" thats fine, all i want is how many people, approximate age, race or ethnicity at the bare minimum, we try for at least those three.

      I apologize for the length of this comment, but this viewpoint had to be stated.

      *by the way, I was paid $17.75/hour of your tax dollars to personally go hunt down the idiots who didn't want to take 3 minutes to send it in themselves. So, I sincerely thank all non and mis responders, or I wouldn't have been able to receive these great paychecks.

    124. Rick, Dallas, Texas says:

      Article I Section 2.3 of the US Constitution instructs Congress to “enumerate” (to count) each states population of free persons as determined by law for the SOLE purpose of determining how many House Representatives each state receives. That’s it! It does not include gathering additional information other than number of residents for the purpose of Classifying, Grouping, Dividing, Determining, Allocating, Affirming, Profiling, and above all GERRYMANDERING districts to insure perpetual incumbency.


    125. Lisa says:

      Oh hans, your awefully quiet, no further comment on your completely false article. check your facts before misleading the public.

    126. Shaun, Texas says:

      This data once consolidated is significant and will be used to manipulate and facilitate this administrations agenda. I only gave the cencus the total number of persons in my home and I have had no less than 3 physical visits from 3 different cencus workers to my home. I doubt I would get even one visit if I lived in a lower income neighborhood. Why does the cencus not ask if you are legally here or not? This cencus counts everyone which includes millions of illegal immigrants which once counted consitutes actual representation in congress for those areas in this country who have a high level of illegals. Technically, areas with higher levels of illegals, not paying into the system, actually have more representation then those of us who actually pay taxes. This data once collected will be used and manipulated and NOT held in "confidence". This cencus is has a taint of ACORN fraud surrounding it, they use cencus temporary hires as a way to inflate employment numbers and this administration will use the data to advance their agenda –

    127. christi, california says:

      Is anyone concerned (in addition to the intrusive questions) about the govt paying $16 an hour to the census collectors who knock on your door to gather your information, or paying an additional $16 to the phone callers to verify that you did indeed fill out the census, or the ridiculous amount of money spent to send out a notice that the census was going to arrive soon? No wonder our govt is going bankrupt!

    128. Alice Park from La C says:

      the essay didn't answer any of my questions…but it is fine because it's a nice essay

    129. Mike Block says:

      There is an overriding law concerning information already provided. We often see it in "asked and answered" objections to questions in TV trials. Much of the information requested, including tax information, is already in the hands of the federal government. I also gave information in Social Security and Army Selective Service forms and in prior Census forms. Repeatedly asking related questions relates to incompetence and to separate overlapping and inconsistent data bases. Even CPAs get tired of having government incompetence waste their time. I will reply. "previously asked and answered" to many questions and send this post with the Survey.

    130. Jim says:

      Absolutely crazy, i feel like i am living in communist country. Say no to all questions except number of people in household. We need to stand up for our rights otherwise it may get worse…

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