Diary of a Census Resister

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May 19,
2000 – morning

I am a census
resister. I received my form in early April, and I have not filled
it out or returned it. I believe the form I received (D-1) was the
short form.

Since that
time the census enumerator has been to my home three times and left
a "Notice of Visit." Apparently I was not home on any
of those occasions.

The last two
were on consecutive days.

The Notice
informs me that the enumerator stopped by and that I can provide
the information over the phone. It also assures me that my privacy
is protected by law and reminds me that it is important that everyone
be counted.

The enumerator
leaves a name and a telephone number as well as times when it is
convenient for him (or her – I can’t tell from the name) to
take calls. Once it was 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.; another time it was 6
p.m. to 11 p.m.

I will update
my account as events occur.

May 19,
2000 – evening

The enumerator
was around again – the third day in a row.

This time she
– for so I now imagine her, all frizzy-haired and bespectacled
– came in the evening. And as it happened I was not home.

The note she
left this time said that the best time to call was between 9 p.m.
and 11 p.m. Whereas previously she has asked that I call and set
up an appointment, now she just writes the terse "Please call."

Tomorrow is
Saturday. I expect her to try at least once over the weekend, perhaps

May 21,

I got a telephone
call at about 6:15 this evening from the census enumerator. Someone’s
been doing her homework, digging out phone numbers and all that.
As I thought, she is female and she is white.

She said she
had been trying to reach us folks for a while. Would this be a good

Once I determined
that she was indeed the same person who has been leaving the notices
at our door – I didn’t quite catch the name the first time
she said it – I said, "Oh, yes. We’re not participating
in this year’s survey. Goodbye."

Then I hung

I think she
started to say something.

the rest of the article

2, 2000

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