Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I just opened my 2010 census form

And something that I noticed: the first question is the only one that is required by the Constitution. It asks how many people live at a given location. That first question is also in a highlighted box away from the others.

Beginning with question #5, the form starts asking for explicit details about each person living at the location. The exact working is "Please provide information..."

The way I see it, you only have to answer the one question that is constitutional (for purposes of congressional apportionment). Everything else on the form is merely a request for optional information.

In other words, simply put "1" or "2" or "4" or whatever, and send the census form back without putting down any more information than what the government is supposed to collect.

Although if you wish to have some fun with it, I suppose one could put down "Klingon" as their race.


andy said...

My buddy and I have been having a discussion about this form.

The Constitution gives broad power to Congress to ask anything they like. And, to me, it looks like it is pretty careful to not limit it. Further, we do have to answer.

Questions 1, 2, and 10 are all designed to get a reasonably accurate count of people. The rest look to me like collecting data to enforce other specific laws. Though, they, too, can be used to help refine the count. For instance, if a large area suddenly changes race, you probably need to go visit to see what's going on there.

What's interesting is that this form is one of the shortest in history. I filled them out in 1990 and 2000, and this one is less objectionable to me then those other two were.

My buddy pointed out an article that suggested that you write in "American" as your race. This bothers me personally, but you may feel differently.

Eric H. Smith said...

I put "Human" as race. For my name I put my last name as Business and my first name as Noneofyour. I also did the same for person 2. Persons 3 and for I put Incumbencia as last name and No es asunto de tu for first name. I figured I would put down a name None of your business in Spanish to help out my Illegal com padres.