Press Editorial

June 1, 2010

By Staff

Greet census workers with smile and common sense

Census workers began filling in the gaps last month, going door-to-door to count people in households that didn’t receive or return 2010 census forms. If a form arrived too late to be processed, a census taker will visit the household as well.

Issaquah residents should help the workers to ensure an accurate census. But anytime a stranger knocks on your door, use common sense — verify who is asking questions and never give out sensitive data.

Census workers will only ask questions from the 2010 Census form.

The 2010 census will affect the country, the state and even Issaquah. Census results are expected to give Washington a 10th Congressional seat and will help determine how much state money Issaquah receives.

An accurate census is critically important and that requires cooperation

So far, 76 percent of Issaquah households returned their mail-back census forms. That is above the state average of 74 percent. Sammamish did even better, returning 80 percent. Still, that leaves nearly one in four houses for workers to visit in Issaquah and one in five houses in Sammamish.

Census workers are trying to do their job, like anybody else. Welcome them and help them collect accurate data. But first, verify who’s at your door. Fraud is a danger.

Census workers must present identification — a badge — with a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. They might have a black canvas bag with a U.S. Census Bureau logo. If you’re unsure, ask for a supervisor’s contact information and the local census office phone number for verification.

Do not give out sensitive information. Census workers will not ask for Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers, and will never solicit for donations, or contact residents by e-mail. If they do, don’t answer!

If you see someone knocking on doors in your neighborhood, ask if they’re a census worker. If they check out, ask if they need help finding an address. No reason not to make them feel welcome.

Help them get the job done so Issaquah will have an accurate count to guarantee its fair share of government dollars.

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