Many say they were skipped by census

Plenty of people in western Colorado want to be counted, and many say they’re baffled as to why they haven’t had the chance so far.

One person who can’t understand why no census form was sent to the home in which he has lived for eight years, Robert Bingaman, said he’s not alone.

“I’d say about a third of the people at work said they have not received anything, and they live in different parts of town,” Bingaman said.

The value of the census isn’t lost on him.

“It’s important to get counted,” Bingaman said. “We would like to have our children counted. We’d like to support the kids for school.”

One caller from Monarch Way in the Grand Valley said he spoke with several neighbors “and found only one that even got the things in the mail. The rest of us, nobody’s got ‘em. Typical.”

People who contacted the Sentinel about the lack of contact by the census so far hailed from rural areas such as Meeker, Collbran and the Vega area, as well as from more urbanized areas such as the Fruitvale-Clifton area in which Bingaman lives.

“I think they overlooked a large swath of territory here,” said Ken Schum, who lives outside Cedaredge and responded from the same address 10 years ago.

Jerry Hayes, who lives in “the boondocks” of Montrose County, said the census could easily have mailed the form to his easily accessible mailbox on a rural road.

He wanted to fill in the form and send it in, he said, rather than have a census worker try to find his way to his home, Hayes said.

“I would just as soon not have that happen,” Hayes said.

Shirley Hodges said she, her sister and a neighbor never received census forms until they called the census office.

She finally received hers the day after the deadline for mailing it in, Hodges said.

When she asked about that, she was told to mail in the form, but that it was likely someone would come by to interview her.

“I asked, ‘Will I be counted twice?’ And she said, ‘No, the computer would kick out the second response,’ ” Hodges said. “I hope that’s the truth. At this point I don’t have a lot of faith in the system.”

She wants to participate in the census, Hodges said.

“We want to be counted,” she said. “It’s important that western Colorado be counted. I get a little tired of Grand Junction being the poor stepchild of Denver.”


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