My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Monday Mailbag: Information over the phone legit?

We got a lot of mail this weekend. I’m going to try to answer some of it here and post the rest of it for readers to comment on:

Subject: Falsifying data

Message Body:
I live in midtown Manhattan.
I got a flier on my door asking me to call the census office and give them my information over the phone.  Is that legal? The commericials all say a census taker will come to the door.

ANSWER (from a New York Census official): YES, WE CAN NOT GET INTO THE &$%$^# BUILDING. LET US INTO THE &^%#*@ BUILDING!

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6 Responses to “Monday Mailbag: Information over the phone legit?”

  1. FL-RI Says:

    How does she think she got the flier? An enumerator went to her door and she wasn’t home…

    Once again, if the Census did not use telephones to try to complete these EQ’s, this site would be the first to complain about the ‘waste’ of only going door to door. And could you provide a source for your ever so lovely ‘answer’?

  2. nerfoo Says:

    Apparently census takers did come to her door, but she wasn’t home. The NV’s ask residents to call the enumerator back to arrange for a time when the enumerator can return to complete the questionnaire. If a phone call is more convenient to get that done, though, then I don’t see what would be illegal about that…

  3. Enumeratrix Says:

    And why does the subject line read, “Falsifying data”? Did you supply that, or your correspondent?

  4. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    I didn’t supply the subject line. The person who wrote the letter did…

  5. anonymous Says:

    That answer is …. !!!

    The telephone EQ has a very detailed “Confidentiality Statement” that you must read to the Respondent. And, you must also ask their permission to ask the information. You have a “telephone script”. It takes some time.

  6. Samantha Jackson Says:

    This is a non-issue. One of the role-playing exercises in Crew Leader and Enumerator training was for a phone interview. They are totally legit and save travel time and mileage costs.