June 25, 2009

Congressman: Let postal workers do Census

A member of Congress suggests U.S. Postal Service carriers could conduct next year's Census, since they already visit everyone almost daily.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, plans to introduce a bill that would temporarily add the Census to postal responsibilities, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday. The bill would declare a postal holiday for the count.

They really have the workforce in place to do this, Chaffetz said. They already go to everybody's door.

Chaffetz said the numbers show is idea is a good one. There are about 760,000 postal workers, and the Census plans to hire 750,000 temporary workers, while the estimated cost of the Census, $1 billion, is the size of the postal deficit.

The congressman fears organizations like ACORN, a community group that became a Republican target during last year's presidential race, might get involved in the Census.

The ultimate underlying thing here about the Census is trust, Chaffetz said. And people trust postal employees a lot more than somebody just off the street.