Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has reported that his office has received inquiries from Arkansas residents regarding GPS "marking" by United States Census personnel and issued a statement to advise consumers concerned about the process.
The 2010 Census officially begins in March 2010 when questionnaires will be sent to every American home. The census data is used to apportion congressional seats to states, to make decisions about allocation of community services, and to distribute $300 billion in federal funds to local and state governments each year. In preparation for March 2010, all Regional Census Bureau offices, including Arkansas's regional office located in Kansas City, are sending out workers to geographically "mark" every American address with a hand held GPS device. This is just to provide geographical accuracy for addresses recorded in the Census Bureau's Master Address File. These Census workers began visiting homes in March of this year and should conclude at the end of this month.
"Arkansas residents are appropriately wary of any strangers coming to the front door, and many have inquired about how to differentiate between a legitimate census worker and potential burglars or solicitors, for example," said McDaniel. "Luckily, there are a few easy ways a consumer can identify a census worker."
All census workers can be identified by a certified Census Bureau badge. The badge will not include a photograph because these are temporary workers; however, the badge should be signed and list a phone number for consumers to call should they have any questions. When asked, all Decennial Census workers will provide their name and their supervisor's name. Also, a worker will never ask for a credit card number, bank account number, or Social Security number. Arkansans should always protect this and similar personal information from all solicitors who visit their homes.
For further information about the 2010 Census visit the official Web site of the US Census Bureau at www.census.gov. To contact Arkansas's Regional Census Bureau office in Kansas City call 913-551-6728 or 800-728-4748. Also feel free to contact the Office of the Attorney General in Little Rock via our Web site www.ArkansasAG.gov or call us at 501-682-2007 or 1-800-482-8982.