MyTwoCensus has received a number of angry complaints from readers’ whose kids, in their teens, have completed their 2010 Census forms on behalf of their parents when enumerators come to the door. In Colorado, the media has picked up on this as well:
It started with a knock at the door, only April Stark says she never knew it.
She was in the lower level of her house and says she came upstairs to find her son Zach talking to a stranger… who was asking about their family.
Zach says the U.S. Census worker asked if he could come inside which was a little unnerving.
Zach says, “I didn’t want to let him in my house ever since my brother’s ipod was stolen by a guy that came to work for awhile in our house.”
Zach says he also was uncomfortable because he didn’t know the answers to all of the questions.
Zach says, “yeah… some of them I had no clue.”
The Starks don’t understand why the worker talked to Zach when he knew that April was home, too.
Zach says, “When I turned to go find my mom… he said, anyone 15 years and older can answer these questions so you can just stay here and answer them.”
April says, “He informed me that he was doing nothing wrong and that he was legally allowed by the Census Bureau to ask anyone over 15 these questions.”
April says she later called the local Census office and workers were sympathetic, but said the rules are the rules. Anyone 15 and older is considered qualified to answer questions of the household.
Deb Muehleisen, a partnership specialist with the Denver Regional Census Center says the census taker made some mistakes.
Deb says, “I would have felt the same way to find a stranger sitting in my living room with my child there so that was inappropriate of that census taker to ask to come inside.”
Muehleisen says the policy of questioning teens was decided by Census officials in Washington.
She adds, “I can share that concern with our team. As a matter of fact, I’m having a regional meeting on Monday and I’m happy to share that concern.”
April says she’s making a point to tell friends and family about what happened…hoping the word will get back to Uncle Sam so ten years from now… young teens can’t be targeted just adults.
We’re told the last day for census takers to be going door to door is July 10th.
Officials say the local office has completed about 50% of its work.