Census mail-in deadline arrives

Today is the last day that sending in the form will guarantee no visit from a census taker.

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Today is the last day that sending in the form will guarantee no visit from a census taker.

By ANDY PORTER
of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Today is the last day to be counted. By mail anyway.

This is the final day for people to mail back their 2010 Census forms. After today, the Census Bureau will begin planning door-to-door visits to households that didn't respond.

"We still want people to mail it back, but if you mail it back today it will guarantee that a Census taker will not pay a visit," said Cecilia Sorci, a spokeswoman with the Seattle Regional Census Center.

According to Robert M. Groves, Census Bureau director, there are literally a billion-plus reasons to take part in the Census mail-in campaign.

"It costs taxpayers the price of a postage stamp to mail back the postage-paid census form, but it costs $57 to recruit, hire, train and send a census worker out to collect information from the same 10 simple questions for each and every non-responding household," Groves said in a release.

"The Census Bureau saves about $85 million in operational costs for every 1 percent of households that mail back their forms. If every household completed and mailed back their census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census and save $1.5 billion," Groves said. "In 2000, the nation reversed a three-decade decline in mail response rates and saved $305 million."

In an e-mail sent out Thursday, State Sen. Mike Hewitt. R-Walla Walla also urged people to respond.

"Census counts determine allocations for things like infrastructure, hospitals, schools and emergency services, as well as our community's level of representation in Olympia and Washington D.C.," Hewitt said. "One of the most effective ways we can make our voices and interests heard is to complete our Census forms."

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.



Map of participation rates

2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/

by telephone

Questionnaire Assistance Center hotlines are available 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time through Monday. Phone numbers are: English: 1-866-872-6868, Spanish: 1-866-928-2010, Chinese: 1-866-935-2010, Korean: 1-866-955-2010, Russian: 1-866-965-2010, Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010, TDD (hearing impaired): 1-866-783-2010.

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