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March 18, 2000
North Eugene homeowners get duplicate census forms
By LANCE ROBERTSON The Register-Guard
Some homeowners in a north Eugene subdivision have received two census questionnaires in the mail instead of one. "I hate to see this waste of money," said Mary Hoover, who lives in the Lakeridge Homes mobile home park off North Delta Highway. "If it happened here, it's probably happening in a lot of other places."
Nearly 200 people live in the subdivision. Hoover said she's talked to several other residents, all of whom received duplicate census questionnaires.
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau launched the every-10-years count of everyone in America by sending out questionnaires to all known residences.
The questionnaires are supposed to be mailed back to the bureau. People who don't mail back a questionnaire will be visited in person by census takers, beginning in late April.
Mike Steenhout, census manager for Southwestern Oregon, said the Lakeridge Homes duplicate mailing was the first case of a mix-up reported in the six-county area he supervises.
"You have to remember, we're shipping out 118 million questionnaires (nationally)," Steenhout said. "We're bound to have a few duplicates."
Because the questionnaires are sent out from a processing facility in Indiana, he said, he doesn't know how the mix-up occurred.
But he said the Census Bureau has tried to make sure that no residences are missed, so there may have been some overlap in the bureau's list of known residences in the area.
Residents who get more than one questionnaire should only fill out one and return it.
The other one should be set aside in case a census taker shows up at some point, he said.
Beginning April 26, census takers will be going to residences that haven't had questionnaires returned by April 11, but they also will be doing random visits later in the summer.
The completed questionnaires are processed in Pomona, Calif.
The computers at the center are capable of comparing handwriting and signatures, Steenhout said, noting, "That's one way we catch any duplicates."
Copyright ) 2000 The Register-Guard
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