120 Million Letters for Census 2000 Sent With Mislabeled Addresses

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120 Million Letters for Census 2000 Sent With Mislabeled Addresses

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A mistake in the addresses on millions of letters sent out by the Census Bureau presents something of a public relations problem, but officals say it won't affect this year's national head count. The Washington Post reports today that the bureau, responsible for making an accurate count of all Americans, mailed 120 million misaddressed letters to inform people they would soon receive a questionnaire for the 2000 Census. An extra digit was printed at the beginning of each street address. "I do consider this a mistake that is extremely unfortunate from the point of view of public response," said Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt. A contractor caused the mistake, Prewitt told the Post, but he added the government's quality control procedures should still have been caught the error. The Postal Service will still be able to get the letters to the correct addresses. The mistake will not affect the $6.8 billion 2000 Census, and the forms to be sent to most Americans next month have the right addresses, he said. The letters, being sent for the first time to reverse declining public response to the count, offer people the option of receiving a form in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese or Tagalog.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 26, 2000

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