Botched census shouldn't have happened


March 10, 2022

I can’t believe anyone was surprised by the census count’s inaccuracy.  I complained on social media about the incompetence while it was occurring.  I’m old enough to have been counted by many census takers. It wasn’t always done this way. I remember the diligence of a friend who worked during the last census:  She made multiple trips locating residents and knocking on doors until she got every count.

What happened?  I found a form outside my door, even though I’d been home all day.  I asked my neighbors if anyone knocked at their house and took their census. They were home, yet later found a form.  Another friend who lives out the highway never even had a form left at his house or at his driveway.  While we went online and filed, I wonder how many people didn’t?  How many people don’t read the CVN and missed the pleas to file?  How many people don’t know how to use the internet? How many elders don’t have internet?

Why didn’t they knock on our doors and take the census?  They did in other parts of Alaska.  Some will blame covid. That’s a weak excuse.  We could’ve followed social distancing protocol, answering the few questions on our porches.   An accurate count is critical for Haines.  Many government funds are distributed based on the size of our populations.  Despite the state recognizing we’re grossly undercounted, we now have to wait a decade for the feds to change their data.  This shouldn’t have happened.

Kristine Harder


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