Submit Census forms via telephone today

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Local residents who have not received a 2010 Census form now have more options available to make sure they’re counted.

Residents can call 1-866-872-6868 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to request a Census form. They can also save time by giving their answers to a Census Bureau representative over the phone.

Forms will continue to be mailed until April 22, but Census representatives will continue to take information over the phone.

Those wishing to have face-to-face contact with a Census worker may visit one of four local “Be Counted” sites, said Carrie Doyle, regional Census office manager. Doyle’s office covers 11 southeast Alabama counties, including Covington.

Doyle said local sites include:

Andalusia Public Library, on Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Friday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Opp Chamber of Commerce, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until noon and on Friday from 10 a.m. until noon

Opp Head Start on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

These offices will remain open until April 19.

“After that, if a person has not gotten a form or hasn’t called the 1-800 number, what they have to do is wait until we actually send people out into field – and that begins May 1,” Doyle said. “We will have a listing of those who did not send in a form, and what happens is your name will pop up and a Census taker will come, knock on the door and fill out the form with you.”

Doyle said residents are encouraged to not wait until May 1.

“Especially, if you look at it from an economic perspective,” she said. “A stamp costs 44 cents, but if we have to send someone out, the average cost is $57 per visit. Plus if we happen to go and no one is not there, we will make that trip up to three times – and that’s a cost $171 to the tax payer instead of the price of a stamp.”

The Census questionnaire asks 10 simple questions, including a person’s name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ownership of the home and relationship to others in the household. The data collected is used to determine government grants and political districts.