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Area homes receive census forms as ‘address glitch’ is discovered

ADDISON COUNTY — Federal Census Bureau officials are working to clarify a glitch they said may give some people the impression that their true town of residency has been misrepresented on their decennial census forms.
Addison County residents began receiving their census forms this week. Homeowners here and throughout the country are being asked to promptly complete the 10-question form and send it back. The federal government uses the new information each decade to track demographic trends that have a direct bearing on federal funding and reapportionment in the U.S. Congress.
But this year’s census mailings created a bit of confusion among some residents and municipal officials who noted their forms were sent by zip code, as opposed to physical address. That means, for example, that Lincoln residents received forms bearing the town of “Bristol,” because Lincoln is part of Bristol’s zip code area.
Will “Chip” Sawyer, manager of the Vermont State Data Center, acknowledged the Census Bureau’s census forms should have included a notation of each household’s physical address. But he said there is no chance that the glitch will lead to a discrepancy in population counts among towns sharing the same zip code. That’s because the Census Bureau is tracking actual housing location by GPS, not the zip address.
Sawyer said people who receive forms with a different town name should correct the town and zip in the address field and send it back in.
John Hameline, manager of Vermont’s lone Federal Census Bureau office, said residents who do not return their forms will be visited, beginning next month, by officials who will ask them the same 10 questions that are on the form.
Federal census information is due to be presented to the White House by Dec. 31, according to Hameline. Results will be disseminated publicly after that date, he said.
People seeking more information on statewide of national census activities can log on to http://crs.uvm.edu/census.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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