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National Census Day draws crowds to post offices

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Today is National Census Day, when the US Census Bureau would like for you to return your 2010 Census.

This is the soft deadline day, meaning you still have time to send your form back. Also, there is still a lot of work to be done to reach the goal of at least 70 percent return rate this year.

"I heard it on 12 and said, okay get it back by Thursday!" says Simone Robinson-Page.

Simone did made the deadline, right and early Thursday morning and for good reason. "I have small children and the first thing I think about is money for schools. So, I absolutely wanted to get it back!"

Derrick Burnside is doing the same: last minute, but not a minute too late.

"Don't take it for granted! Right now, a lot has changed in this country and we need all the resources we can," says Burnside. 

Right now, census workers here in the Richmond area are pleased with the response. 46% of Richmonders have mailed back their form, compared to just 46 percent back in 2000 when the census was last taken.

Chesterfield and Henrico are also ahead of their own 2000 pace, as well and nationally, about 50 percent of Americans have returned the form.

"About 73 percent of the households last decade filled out the form and mailed it back. We think we can do better this decade because we've made it a simpler process," says Dr. Robert Groves, with the US Census Bureau.

You can track the return rate, in your own neighborhood and Robinson is going to make sure to log on as soon as she gets home.

"That's important to say, 'hey neighbor' send it back so we can get the money we need for schools," says Robinson-Page.

Not just that, but other necessary resources, that's why Larry Petin didn't wait until today to mail back his form. "I would encourage them to send it back because we are going to get all the money to help our communities. That's a big part of it right there and everybody needs help!"

But, there is still more work to be done. Starting April 10, Richmond Census workers will get a daily report on who has yet to return their form. Then, starting on May 1st, census workers will go door-to-door to get the census officially counted.

When these workers go door-to-door you need to make sure they have both an official census bag and census badge.

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