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Census workers to visit some Chatham households May to July

Posted Monday, May 17, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - Some Chatham County residents may have US Census workers briefly visiting their households from May 3 to July 10, 2010. The workers will primarily visit households that did not return a Census form by mail by April 16 or that provided unclear or inconsistent information on their forms. Census workers will typically visit households after 5 pm on weekdays and on weekends.

Residents should know that the ONLY purpose for Census worker visits is to get a basic count of people living in each household.

“The workers are not there to investigate anyone and do not have the power to do anything but to collect names, birthdates and other basic information on people living in the residence,” said Debra Henzey from the Chatham County Manager’s Office, who chaired the county’s Complete Count Committee.

“Chatham County did extremely well in the percentage of households returning mailed forms. We currently rank first in the state along with five other counties at 79% of mailed forms returned,” said Henzey. “Each person not counted could mean a loss of thousands of dollars in revenue over ten years, so it is important to count everyone who lives here.”

She added that the county had the help of a very hard-working committee to boost the return of Census forms so that “we maximize the tax dollars coming to our county for important services, such as schools and town roads. A good count of residents also ensures that they are accurately represented when election districts are redrawn,” Henzey said.

“Chatham County must now finish the job and get the remaining residents counted over the next few weeks or we could lose ground so that people who live here will not be represented,” she added.

Henzey reminds residents that there are very strict federal laws with penalties to protect the privacy of any information provided to a Census worker. “Census workers violating these laws would be in serious trouble and could have to pay huge fines. No government agency, including the FBI and Immigration Services can obtain access to your Census information.”

Census workers should not ask to enter anyone’s residence. “You should meet them outside and provide the information there. If they ask to come inside, you should not allow them to enter,” Henzey said.

All Census workers will carry several items with them to identify who they are: A

  • Census identification badge with their name on it and US Census logo
  • A shoulder bag with a US Census logo
  • A sign in their car windshield identifying them as a Census Worker
  • An information sheet that includes a notice about the confidentiality of Census information
Residents also could ask the worker to produce a driver’s license, but they are not required to do so.

If you still have questions about whether or not a person at your door is an authorized Census worker, call 336-308-3456 in Asheboro between 8 am and 9 pm. Spanish-language assistance is available at that phone number.

“The number of questions that a Census worker will ask you is shorter than ever,” said Henzey. “So, the time to provide the information should be minimal.”

The questions include:

  • How many people were living in your household as of April 1?
  • Were there any additional people staying in the household that were not included in question 1?
  • Do you own, rent or live in the residence free of charge?
  • What is the full name of each person living in the residence?
  • What is the gender of each person living in the residence?
  • What are the ages and birthdates of each person living in the residence?
  • Which persons are of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
  • What is the race of each person living in the residence?
  • Which people in the residence sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
Through mid-August, the Census Bureau also will conduct telephone interviews of some households with incomplete or inconsistent information on their mailed forms or households that reported more than six residents. For example, a form that reported four people in the home but only provided names of three people may be contacted by phone.

For the phone interviews, the Census Bureau will leave a callback number with a case ID number. If the household phone has caller ID, the display will read: US Census Bureau.

One of the following phone numbers may appear on the caller ID depending on the language of the call:

  • English: 866-851-2010
  • Spanish: 866-859-2010
  • Russian: 866-848-2010
  • Korean: 866-874-2010
  • Vietnamese: 866-863-2010
  • Chinese: 866-881-2010
  • TDD (hearing impaired): 866-784-2010
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Census workers to visit some Chatham households May to July

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