Yes, you have to fill out your Census form

This is a 2010 Census form. When you get yours, fill it out. It's the law.

This is a 2010 Census form. When you get yours, fill it out. It's the law.

If you’ve watched the Super Bowl or “American Idol,” you’ve seen ads touting the 2010 Census. Fill out your form, the ads say. It’s cool. It will get your state money and representation.

What they need to say: You must fill out your Census form. It’s the law.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows only 13 percent of Americans realize it’s illegal not to fill out your Census form. Census forms will start arriving at homes this week, but the Rasmussen poll, released Monday, shows not everyone understands how the Census works.

  • 57 percent said it is not against the law to not answer your Census questions.
  • 30 percent aren’t sure if Census participation is mandatory.
  • 25 percent of Americans don’t know what the Census is.

And feds, you scored only slightly better:

  • 21 percent of government employees said it is illegal not to complete your Census form.
  • 10 percent of private-sector employees said it’s illegal not to participate.

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  2. Calm down, everybody. Take your caps lock off.

    No, it’s not illegal or unconstitutional. Article 1 section 2 of the Constitution gives Congress enough leeway to conduct a census every ten years “in such manner as they shall by law direct.” Nowhere in the Constitution did the Founding Fathers limit the Census to a pure anonymous headcount. And the courts have upheld the legality of the Census time and again for about 140 years.

    And the 10 questions Census asks this year are hardly the stuff of Big Brother. They ask you how many people are in your house, anybody else you’ve forgotten, ownership of the house, phone number, name, sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, and if you sometimes live elsewhere like at college or the military. More or less the same questions that have been asked for one or two centuries, and not a lot more than can be found in the White Pages or public homeownership records.

    This year’s survey is a far cry from the 2000 long form Census, which did ask some pretty detailed questions on things like your salary.

  3. Just got my Census in the mail. There are a lot more questions then how many people live in the house.
    There are ten questions unrelated to how many people there are. I WILL NOT be answering any of those questions. I will state the number of occupants in the home. “Answer by LAW” What are you going to do to me if I don’t answer all the questions! This Census is purely unconstitutional and therefor it is the Census Bureau who is acting unlawfully!

  4. they can get all the info they need from irs tax form we fill out every year, another violation ofthe constitution taxes and the irs …. don’t beleive me go to you tube see “america freedom to fascism” by aaron russo

  5. James Hammersmith on

    Steve’s right – the Census has been upheld time and time again by the courts. As indicated in the Constitution, the Congress has approved the “fairly” short form this year (as empowered by the Constitution). This year’s form has questions that ARE required to be answered by law (the Constitution) and, therefore, not an invasion of privacy. Congressman Bachman, in deciding to withhold information, has not done her research. If she fails to fill out her census completely, she will be breaking Federal Law and will be visited personally (at her house) by a Census worker to help complete the survey (in other words, thus creating a bigger government by requiring a federal employee to personally spend time doing what the Congressman is required to do herself).

  6. why is the first question and seemingly the only one really required for apportionment in a separate box segregated from the other 9 questions?

  7. Why ask about race? I thought that “race didn’t matter” anymore. And specific dates of birth? Wouldn’t just year of birth suffice to show that there are minors in the residence? The Census needs to know if I have a mortgage on the property? Really?? Why do they need my home phone number? That’s needed for what? The Census might be legal, but truly I’d like to know why they ask some of the questions they do.

  8. The “legality” of the census is hardly tried and true “time and again”, as others have stated. The ILLEGAL use of information by the census, however, IS tried and is true. Do your homework. Look into the Japanese Concentration Camps here in the US, and how the Census Bureau assisted in rounding them up. Also, check into how the data are used to target your local community’s poor spots. It is VERY natural for us to be skeptical (if not completely mistrusting) of the State. Their track record is not great.
    And about the Constitutionality of it… The purpose of the census WAS to determine the number of representatives each state was to have. THAT’S IT! Now it is used as an arm of “social and economic justice” by those that love the power… our government. We The People lend the government our rights. It’s time we start demanding they use them properly, or THEY loose the rights.

  9. Wow, nobody seems to mind telling Uncle Sam info when they become “eligible” for entitlement$, i.e., (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CSRS, FERS), do they?

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  11. Yes, actually, some of us do mind. As a matter of fact, some of us think that entitlements like those you listed are tools for Uncle Sam to keep us fat and happy, which as you pointed out is working well for them. However, I maintain that we should be responsible to/for ourselves and should rely on U.S. for nothing more than the preserving and strengthening OUR liberties and freedoms(as it was intended).

  12. I just received my third Census form in the mail. How hard is it to count 1? I got rid of my last two wives and they took all the money. I have two sons, I tried to give them away but no one wanted them. They are 28 and 30, what is wrong with our adoption system? How many of these forms am I “Required by Law” to fill out? How many tax dollars were spent just on me, to get that grand total of “1”?????

  13. So you Obama-bots can claim how the government legally compels its citizens to completely fill out the census form, as they see fit to write the questions. Well let me ask the obvious question then: when so many people refuse to answer these questions, what will happen? Will they come after everyone? Will everyone get fined? I think there will be way more unanswered questions, than there are census workers out there to warn us about “the law”.

  14. I sent mine back in with the # in the house and our ages. I figured I didn’t mind indicating ages if they use that data for schools and teacher allocation. However, I drew lines through all the rest. I also wrote a note telling them not to come to my house because I refuse to give them anymore documentation. In 2000, they came to my house 3 times but finally realized “refused” was a good option to take.

  15. We have a manual that explains how we are supposed to be doing things. The Bible outlaws our government taking census. King David did so aginst Yahwes’ command.
    But now this country has allowed itself to be taken so far from the Bible commands that the problems are muliiplying. Things are going to get far worse.
    Should we fill out the census form? I do not know, at this point. A thousand-man refusal is going to change the wrong? No.
    I do know we etter get about demanding the gov obey the Bible

  16. simply NO. I will give the number in the household and nothing else. Google used “public record” to locate my house. I pay for my unlisted number. I am not going to give it away as a public record for Google’s use. Houses are already GPS.

    It looks like a market survey rather to justify districts.

  17. Hey – Steve Losey — why don’t YOU calm down.

    As the editor of a publication of the left-wing media Gannett group, I doubt you have a grasp of the Constitutional issues regarding the census.

    Go back to reporting and stop the lecturing, nonsense of your self-proclaimed claims of knowledge of Constitutional law.

    Good grief! How arrogant.

  18. and BTW: Mr. Losey. Your absurd interjection to chide on this issue is not a really good way to create a spirited discussion, or welcome back readers of the Federal Times, and/or FedLine.

    You may not post my comment, but you will read it.

    If you have a blog, don’t have editors like Losey chime in and lecture about things he has no authoritative knowledge about, and insult the others who make comments. That’s basic 101 for any crusty old print publisher wishing to be successful using social media.

  19. “Steve Losey Says:
    March 16th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    No, it’s not illegal or unconstitutional. Article 1 section 2 of the Constitution gives Congress enough leeway to conduct a census every ten years “in such manner as they shall by law direct.” ”

    That’s not what it says. The “in such manner as they shall by law direct” is in direct reference to “enumeration”. In other words, they can by law determine how they will count. That’s it.

  20. Frank Citizen on

    Hey Losey…just cause a Left Wing Democrat Liberal says something is leagal under the U.S. Constitution doesnt make it such. There is too much invasion of privacy on that stupid Census Form and WTF does Zer Fuhur Obama want to do with that anyway?

    Too much has happened sincne that SOB took office and the Census 2010 question just promotes his agenda. All the U.S. Department of Commerse needs to know id how many people live in my house…thats it!

    Who cares if they are male/female; black, white, purple, green; straight or flamers…

    The Federal Government needs to stay out of our business!

    Frank Citizen
    San Antonio, Texas!

  21. They didnt even send out the forms in my area, they are going door to door . No way am I giving out personal info to some welfare to work bum in my area.
    If they attempt to disregard my locked gate and no trespassing signs. It will get ugly real fast.

  22. Just because something is in the constitution that makes it GOLDEN?

    If we blindly accept this then you are lost.

    The presidents campaign for change for example. What do you think is the reason for his following? Because people are happy with the way things are?

    NO!! They aren’t!

    This is my take. It is time to reevaluate everything. This system needs an overhaul.

  23. WOW. Some of you conservatives are lumping all liberals into the pro census basket and you shouldn’t be. This liberal WILL NOT fill out any more than the number in my household because my Constitutional right to privacy was preciously fought for and is still upheld by our Armed Forces! And where where all you Radicals to uphold The Constitution when Bush passed the Patriot Act? The Patriot Act took far more of our privacy rights away! I say we unite to ensure the freedom of the American people are protected.

  24. “Wow, nobody seems to mind telling Uncle Sam info when they become “eligible” for entitlement$, i.e., (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CSRS, FERS), do they?”

    “entitlements” – like social security…. as in I am “entitled” to pay 12% of my earnings for my entire life, and then get a pitiful check (a small sliver or what it would be if invested) from a bankrupt entity?

    GREEEEEAT! I do object as well!

    Down with the census, other than asking how many people are around.

  25. Recently, I found the 2010 Census form hanging on my door. As I began filling it out, I came across a dilemma. The U.S. government wants to know if my children are adopted or not and it wants to know what our races are. Being adopted myself, I had to put “Other” and “Don’t Know Adopted” for my race and “Other” and “Don’t Know” for my kids’ races.

    Can you imagine not knowing your ethnicity, your race? Now imagine walking into a vital records office and asking the clerk for your original birth certificate only to be told “No, you can’t have it, it’s sealed.”

    How about being presented with a “family history form” to fill out at every single doctor’s office visit and having to put “N/A Adopted” where life saving information should be?

    Imagine being asked what your nationality is and having to respond with “I don’t know”.

    It is time that the archaic practice of sealing and altering birth certificates of adopted persons stops.

    Adoption is a 5 billion dollar, unregulated industry that profits from the sale and redistribution of children. It turns children into chattel who are re-labeled and sold as “blank slates”.

    Genealogy, a modern-day fascination, cannot be enjoyed by adopted persons with sealed identities. Family trees are exclusive to the non-adopted persons in our society.

    If adoption is truly to return to what is best for a child, then the rights of children to their biological identities should NEVER be violated. Every single judge that finalizes an adoption and orders a child’s birth certificate to be sealed should be ashamed of him/herself.

    I challenge all readers: Ask the adopted persons that you know if their original birth certificates are sealed.

  26. CENSUS?!? Sounds more like OBAMA GUNNA KILL US. I am just filling out the number of people and thats it! let’s see there is me and Cletus and Billy-Joe, thats about 5. i knewd that obama guy was gunna have the government do one of them countin things again. but me I be a patriot and a rebel so fur da rest them questions I just drew pictures. those latte drinkin panseys always complain about the “patriot act” and this stuff but that was my boy dubya. I know hed not do nuthin bad. yalls gotta learn and stuff.

  27. Jim, YOUR manual may be the Bible, however some of us believe that a book written by a group of men long after “Jesus died for our sins” is nothing more than that, a book. I will no more “obey the Bible” than I will a husband.

    Kevin, I love crayons!!

  28. since i have a sleep disorder and can’t afford to be awakened ,i filled out the form completely,so as not to be awakened some afternoon by a nosy’s not exctly college level material.i answered everything correctly.still some idiot from the census bureau came by today and i didn’t answer the door.he left a comment on the the piece of paperhe left on the door that he’d be back in a day or two to attempt a connection with me.well my attitude is that i sent the effing form in so now they can just fine me or whatever the hell they want to do!! i sent them the form and not one thing should be confusing to them regarding my answers unless they’re dumber than an ox!

  29. The census happens every ten years by constitutional authority. It is no big deal. Nor is it an invasion of privacy. If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States it is your duty and responsibility to complete the census questions. That’s the only way we can get an accurate demographic. How else will the city you live in be able to budget for things like public transportation and other services?

    Not filling out the census form is patently un-american and unpatriotic. You would answer more detailed questions on a job application for McDonalds!

    The Government is not the enemy in this case.

    Just fill out your damn census and quit bitching..

  30. A creepy looking man, reminiscent of a child molester just came to my door asking me how many people are in my house.. why the hell would i tell him that?? That has “home invasion” written all over it. Anyone with a laminated badge can come to my door asking me questions. I am not comfortable with this. First of all, when me and my husband were unemployed, almost homless and really hungry, this government DENIED me assistance, not even so much as 50 bucks in food stamps which goes along way. Why should i participate? it wont help me. It will help the cities get more money they can spend on themselves and things that do not matter. Dont think for a second that your city or state helps people “for the good of it”, They are well compensated for it. Truth is Truth.

  31. Another thing…If somebody is determined not to fill out the census, there is no amount of explaining, threatening, or reasoning that’s gonna make them do it. They are not gonna fill it out. Let’s move on…

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  33. My father was recently at the doctor’s office, and was asked to fill out some kind of form, wherein he was asked his nationality. Does anyone know what this was? My father never inquired as to why they were asking.

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