Dog ate your census form? Fear not. Here comes another.
From now through April 10, about half of South Carolina households will receive a replacement 2010 questionnaire, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Thursday in a news release.
The replacement questionnaires are being sent out with the hope of encouraging more people to send their census form by mail, the release states.
Collecting census data by mail saves taxpayers the higher cost of sending out census takers to collect information.
"From our research, we estimate that mailing out a replacement questionnaire in targeted areas might save more than $500 million by raising the participation rate by 7 to 10 percentage points," said William Hatcher, regional director for the U.S. Census Bureau.
"The replacement form gives households a second chance to fill out the form and return it by mail before we begin going door-to-door May 1 to collect census information."
If you've a
lready completed and returned your census questionnaire, you don't need to fill out the replacement form, Hatcher said.
People who still have the original questionnaire should fill it out and mail it back immediately in the provided, postage-paid envelope.
People who discarded or misplaced the original questionnaire should fill out the replacement. You should complete and return only one census form.
The 10-question forms were mailed to 2.1 million South Carolina households in mid-March. About 40 million replacement questionnaires are being sent nationwide to households in areas that had low mail return rates in 2000, even if they have returned the original 2010 questionnaire. If you don't receive a replacement questionnaire, it means your area had a high rate of mail participation in 2000.
Also on Thursday, a survey conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that close to nine out of 10 Hispanics said they intend to participate in the census, with immigrants more likely to say the government count is good for their community and that personal information will be kept confidential.
The survey appears largely to put aside concerns that Hispanic discontent with the government's slow progress on immigration reform will curtail participation in the high-stakes count now under way.
The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders had suggested a Hispanic boycott of the census to protest the lack of action on immigration.