April 14, 2010 | The Enterprise Cape News | Original Article

Not received your 2010 census form? Stand Up...Or Mail, Or Call...And Be Counted

Those people who use a post office box, exclusively, have not been sent a federal 2010 census form. Those with a second home on the Upper Cape may find that the form has not been forwarded to them.

Forms can be requested by calling the census operation’s toll-free number, 1-866-872-6868.

Forms, and help in filling them out, are also available through April 19 at local questionnaire assistance centers.

In Bourne, forms can be found at the Jonathan Bourne Public Library in Bourne village, at the First Baptist Church at 298 Barlows Landing Road, Pocasset (Sunday only); at Ameritax Professionals, 7 St. Margaret’s Street, Buzzards Bay, and at the Bay Pointe Country Club, Buzzards Bay.

The Sandwich Public Library is a help center.

In Falmouth, the Gus Canty Community Center at 790 East Main Street has been designated as one.

Mashpee’s Town Hall, at 16 Great Neck Road, and Mashpee Tribal Headquarters at 483 Great Neck Road, are centers.

In Barnstable, Lucar Auto Repair at 119 Thornton Drive in Hyannis; Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands at 115 Enterprise Road, Hyannis; Cape Cod YMCA at 2245 Route 132 in West Barnstable; Fox Printing at 684 Main Street, Hyannis; Alegra Brasil Gospel Book Store, 192 Iyannough Road, Hyannis; the United Cultures room of the Barnstable Recreation Center at 141 Bassett Lane, Hyannis; and the Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled, 852 Falmouth Road, Hyannis, are all help sites.

It is important to municipalities that all of their residents be counted. The information provided is used to determine what resources a town will need going forward. It is crucial, for example, when seats in the US House of Representatives are apportioned and when more than $400 billion per year in government funding is allocated for projects like new hospitals and schools.

People who have not received a form have several options available to them in order to stand up and be counted. According to the official census website, those who have received the form have until April 16, to mail it back.

After that time, a census taker may be come by to ask the form’s 10 questions in person. If no one answers at a particular residence, a census taker will visit that home up to three times, each time leaving a flyer on the door featuring a phone number. Residents can then call the number on the flyer to schedule the visit.

To date, according to the census website, 73 percent of Sandwich’s residents have responded, along with 68 percent of Mashpee residents, 67 percent of Barnstable residents and 66 percent of Barnstable, Bourne, and Falmouth residents. The national average is 66 percent.

Since so much funding is at stake, and since legislative representation is determined by population numbers resulting from the census, municipalities hope their residents will be proactive in obtaining and returning a form, or cooperating with census takers.

Those doing the census in person will carry ID, will not ask to enter your home, and will only ask the 10 questions on the form. Those questions are designed to determine who was living at a particular location on April 1, 2010, and they do NOT ask for financial information or identifying information such as Social Security numbers.