Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be inclyded within this Union, according to their respective numbers…. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. Article 1, Section 2, United States Constitution.
It’s census time! Or actually, it’s past census time — the actual deadline for filing the forms was, perhaps unfortunately, April 1.
Then it was time for the long hard slog as enumerators — the people charged with going door to door and tracking down households that didn’t return their questionnaire — were out in the field.
This matters to me because, as of April 26, I have been a temporary employee of the Census Bureau. I’m a fed. Yay. Unfortunately, my job is almost up. It’s been, well, sort of fun.
I am not an enumerator, which is just fine with me: they have to face dogs, and people yelling at them, and the occasional firearm (not in our area, thank God). I’m a clerk, just one of the small army of clerks and other office workers who support their effort in the field: preparing binders, affixing labels to questionnaires, double-checking — triple-checking — to make sure that every household who did not return their form gets counted.