I finally filled out and submitted our United States 2020 Census forms. The three official letters (including a paper copy of the questionnaire), one official postcard, and reminder that I am “required by law” to do this may have helped.
But I am curious to see if our survey is flagged for additional follow-up. Like it was in 2010.
In 2010, our daughter Mary Frances had recently been born. We were a household of 2 adults and 6 children. I filled out our census and thought nothing of it again. Until an official looking name/number came across our caller ID.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
I tentatively answered the phone as my mind scrambled to think of any possible legal infractions or tax violations.
The monotone voice on the other end of the line told me there were some follow-up questions based on our census responses.
Question 1: Are you sure that no one in your family is of Hispanic origin?
Conversation in my Head: Is this person crazy? My origins are as Irish and German as they come. My husband adds in some Slovak and Scandinavian. I’ve only visited Spain once and attended my brother’s wedding in Mexico. I’d be thrilled to have a Hispanic relative but it’s just not in the bloodline. And, sir, there is no way on this green planet that I would answer that question wrong.
Question 2: Are you sure that all six of your children share the same biological father?
Conversation in my Head: Wait a minute, buddy. Where is this question coming from? And just what are you implying? My husband is responsible for each one of these kids. Now, how about you answer a couple of questions from me? Like, just what are you insinuating with that question? And why does the United States Government need me to clarify the biological origin of these little ones?
That was the end of our conversation. I hung up and began to process the rationale for the phone call. Admittedly, I was somewhat miffed at Question #2.
And then it dawned on me. My fifth child’s name is Veronica, which is a popular Hispanic name. And, on average, Hispanic families have more children. I could only deduce, that a household with six children and a daughter named “Veronica” must have flagged the system and selected our survey for further investigation.
What are the chances I get a call this year?