Online census filing declared success

Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt said online filing for census 2000

was a success even though only 70,000 people used the Internet to file their

forms out of the 78 million households that have filed so far.

Prewitt acknowledged that the Census Bureau did not go out of its way to

tell people they could file online, so any forms sent via the Internet were

simply a good sign that people are computer-savvy.

The census forms did not tell people they could use the Internet to file,

and the bureau didn't advertise the option. However, Prewitt promised that

census 2010 will be more high-tech and will spread the word that people

can file online.

The initial overall response rate for census 2000 was 65 percent, matching

the 1990 rate. Next, the bureau will mobilize 500,000 temporary workers

to count as many delinquent respondents as possible.

At a press briefing in Falls Church, Va., Prewitt gave a pep talk to two

dozen of the enumerators. They were undergoing three days of training before

hitting the streets on April 27 to go door-to-door to question people who

did not return their census forms.

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