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.

Posts Tagged ‘911’

West Virginia: Addresses Skewing Census

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

The following report comes from the Charleston Daily Mail:

by Billy Wolfe
Daily Mail staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va.–Census workers in West Virginia will make more door-to-door visits this year than officials initially thought because of confusion resulting from the statewide addressing and mapping project.

The new system was meant to standardize rural addresses by assigning a physical street address to every home in the state. The project is a result of post-Sept. 11, 2001 guidelines requiring better security and emergency response.

But while the new system assigned an address to every home, it didn’t put a mailbox in front of each residence. Many residents who have a new physical street address under the system still get their mail at a post office box.

But in many cases, the U.S. Census Bureau used those new addresses to mail out census forms.

That resulted in some census forms being sent to non-existent mailboxes. Postal carriers would then discard those forms as undeliverable mail.

Those addresses were then listed as “non response,” meaning a census worker will have to get the information in person at a later date.

“What I guess was not fully anticipated was how (the addressing and mapping project) would affect the census,” said Anthony Galante, manager of the Charleston census office.

“There has been some confusion where it looks like we have addresses, but there is no mail delivery,” he said. “It’s all going to fall into the no response follow-up portion.”

He doesn’t know how many people failed to get their census form as a result of the address changes, but said his office has received “a great deal” of complaints from Roane and Wayne counties.

The confusion might be one reason why West Virginia is lagging behind the national average for mail participation in the 2010 census.

As of Thursday, West Virginia was showing a 63 percent participation rate for mailing back the forms. The national average was 71 percent.

All of West Virginia’s bordering states were boasting higher mail participation rates than the Mountain State.

Police release 911 tape from death of Ky. census worker

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Police records released yesterday showed that Kentucky census worker William Sparkman, found hanging from a tree near a cemetery in November, had told a friend of his plan to commit suicide.

WKYT in Lexington, Ky., has audio from the 911 tape from the day Sparkman’s body was found. At the time, police said Sparkman’s death was a suicide staged to look like a murder, but further details — including the 911 call and that Sparkman had disclosed his plans to a friend — were not released until this week.

Listen to the 911 tape here (it’s about a minute in to the segment).