That Stranger Knocking On Your Door Might Work For The Census

Don’t panic if a stranger shows up at your door sometime in the next few months asking how many people live in your home. They work for the Census Bureau, not IDT, and they’re starting their decennial door-knocking party to figure out how big a slice of the federal government’s annual $300 billion pork pie your community deserves.

“We want to verify mailing address numbers and streets and so on,” said Powell. “Then, we want to verify the living quarters inside the structure.”

Bureau “listers” are not connected to the actual process of collecting demographic data, but they are laying the groundwork for the questionnaire to be mailed in early 2010.

The process is known as Operation Address Canvassing.

“The visit is a knock on the door. If no one answers, or if someone doesn’t want to come to the door, the lister will do the best they can to determine the internal living quarter makeup,” said Powell.

He further commented that bureau employees will wear bureau name tags, and will carry backpacks bearing the bureau’s logo. Listers will work only during daylight hours, beginning around nine in the morning and lasting into the evening.

In addition, Powell said that listers will carry specially designed handheld devices that use GPS information to improve the bureau’s list. He commented that devices cannot be used for any purpose other than census data collection.

Census data is confidential, and by law it cannot be shared with law enforcement agencies, Powell said.

If you want to join the ranks of government head counters, the Census Bureau will be hiring through May.

Census coming to town [The Saratogian]