After speaking to multiple sources, MyTwoCensus has been able to clarify the situation that led to West Virginia news outlets claiming that citizens with the wrong city on their 2010 Census forms may not be counted properly. A senior government official, who has requested anonymity wrote to us the following:
The story about ZIP codes is much ado about nothing. This happens ALL the time even with mass mailers. Post office ZIP codes often provide service to multiple areas. It does not impact mail delivery or Census results.
I checked the issue on Parkersburg and Vienna, WV. They share a ZIP Code, 26105. People often believe that Postal Delivery information is geographic information….
They’ve gotten used to seeing statistics published by ZIP Codes. FYI – ZIP Codes are NOT geographic data. They are a method employed by the USPS to facilitate the delivery of mail. They frequently change (as delivery routes change) and have little to do with the underlying political geographic (or statistical area) definitions.
I was able to verify that both cities in West Virginia have the same ZIP Code by simply looking them up on the United States Postal Service web site. So now we can safely say that this issue should be put to rest.