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Census makes one final count
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Forsyth County News
Although you may have already responded to the 2010 Census, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to repeat your answers.

Before wrapping up the 10-year count, the U.S. Census Bureau goes through a quality assurance phase where a random selection of U.S. households are contacted to verify their information.

The process is to ensure that all procedures were initially followed and that no misinformation was recorded.

“We know how crucial federal funding and congressional apportionment relies heavily on our ability to produce an accurate census count,” said Robert Groves, census bureau director.

“That is why these quality assurances are critical to our country’s future.”

The results of the census will determine how about $400 billion in federal funding for facilities like hospitals and schools are allocated nationwide.

About 75 percent of Forsyth households completed their mailed questionnaires. Census workers then tracked down those they did not hear back from.

The U.S. Census’ Alpharetta center handles north Fulton, Forsyth and Cherokee counties.

Dick Gormly, manager of the Alpharetta site, said the office has “got people out on the streets right now double-checking places.”

“We’re almost halfway complete on that,” he said, adding that they’ll “probably be finished within the next week or 10 days.”

Gormly said there will be little interaction with most homes. Once the quality check is complete, census workers won’t be seen.

“People need to know there may be somebody going to their door to ask questions, but it’s very minimal,” he said. “It’s just us tidying up the records.”

During the quality assurance phase, the census bureau may also call residents to confirm information.

Census officials warn residents to be vigilant against scam artists.

Official census workers never ask to enter a home, carry official badges and only ask questions that are on the official census form.

Residents should also remember that census workers will not ask for donations, Social Security or bank account numbers.

Ultimately, the final population counts must be delivered to President Barack Obama by Dec. 31. That information will be used to determine congressional districts, among other things.

Staff writer Jennifer Sami contributed to this report.