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 ‘punishment’

In Ireland, people who don’t complete their census forms are actually prosecuted

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

In America, all residents are legally obliged to complete their census forms, but it has been many decades since the US government has actually enforced its rules and prosecuted citizens who have failed to complete their census forms. But in Ireland, this isn’t the case. The Irish Times reports:

SIX HOUSEHOLDERS are to be prosecuted for refusing to complete their census forms in last year’s survey.

The six cases have been forwarded to the Chief State Solicitor’s Office, a spokeswoman for the Central Statistics Office told The Irish Times .

The CSO’s policy was to prosecute “as representative a sample of the population as possible” and it would be prosecuting six households “for the moment”, the spokeswoman said. They could face fines of up to €25,000 on conviction in the Circuit Court.

Some 20 households had “refused outright” to co-operate with the census but a “significant proportion” of these households subsequently completed their forms after further correspondence, the spokeswoman said.

Forms from some 1.7 million households were collected by enumerators after last April’s survey.

 

 

 

The First 2010 Census Protesters: Viva La Revolution!!!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Today, MyTwoCensus has learned about the first people to officially protest their own participation in the 2010 Census. Just yesterday, we wrote how there is very little that the U.S. Government can do to punish individuals who fail to complete their 2010 Census forms, which, in this case, is the American Community Survey that has been mailed to approximately 1 in 40 households.

Thanks to Tulsa Oklahoma’s Channel 6 News for first reporting this:

TULSA, OK — The U.S. Census Bureau is surveying Tulsa neighborhoods to confirm where to send questionnaires for the 2010 census.

But some people are wondering why they’re already getting census forms in the mail.

Forms are landing in mailboxes almost a full year before the census officially starts.

Geraldine and Lincoln Higgins are not usually rebellious, but they say they’re not going to fill out the census form they got in the mail.

“I don’t think the U.S. government needs to know how many people live in this house,” Geraldine Higgins said. “I don’t think it’s anybody’s business.”

They are not planning to answer the more than 100 questions on the American Community Survey, which asks about their house, finances, what languages they speak and the state of their health.

What made Geraldine Higgins mad was that it said the law required her to answer.

“I’d like for them to come arrest me,” she said. “I’m 75 years old. What are they going to do with me?”

The Census Bureau says she isn’t going to be arrested but she does have to answer.

Dennis Jordan, Census Bureau Regional Director: “The 100 year census, the 2010 census and the American Community Survey, both have been determined to be so important that Congress has authorized them to be mandatory,” said Dennis Jordan, regional director of the Census Bureau. “Each household is required to fill them out.”

The survey is not the 2010 census. The American Community Survey goes out continuously and over a decade every home will get one.

The questions provide the government with more timely information than the once-a-decade census that in 2000 asked many of the same questions on a long form.

“We’re not doing that anymore,” Jordan said. “Everyone in the 2010 census will get a short form, 10 questions, takes about 10 minutes and the information we used to get on the long form will be collected with the American Community Survey.”

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Crime but no punishment…

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Federal law requires participation in the census, and failure to respond to the 2010 Census can result in a $100 fine. Providing false answers carries a more hefty $500 fine.

However, MyTwoCensus is willing to go beyond saying that these punishments are rarely enforced, as it seems that they are NEVER enforced. At least they haven’t been in our lifetimes…

In an April 14 conversation between MyTwoCensus and Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner, we learned that “The Census Bureau is not a law enforcement agency. We try to make Americans understand the importance of completing the census, but we don’t try to enforce those penalties.”

If you fail to participate in the census, don’t lose sleep over it because the the Attorney General won’t have an armada of prosecutors and U.S. Marshals chasing you down…