Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I do not exist

I was excited to fill out the census this year. For the first time, I'd be counted as a real person, not just some hanger-on.

But as it turns out, the Census Bureau does not deem me worthy of inclusion in its decennial tally. As an American expat living abroad, I, for all statistical intents and purposes, do not really exist. Even though I am an American passport-holder (now with a new biometric chip, since my old passport went through the washing machine) and fully plan to vote in the November elections, by taking up residence overseas I am essentially a castaway for the next decade. When it comes to the census, my status is less than that of an illegal immigrant.

Apparently it's too complicated and expensive to count people like me in the census. According to a Wall Street Journal article last year, the Census Bureau examined the possibility of distributing census forms to Americans overseas, but decided it wasn't worth the cost or the headache.

I suppose losing some constitutional rights are just a fact of life for those of us who choose to reside outside US borders. I've managed to get myself counted by having my parents fill me in as a third resident at their house in Northern California. That is my permanent address after all, and is the district in which I'll be voting. But a hanger-on I remain.

Still, I'm surprised the bureau doesn't at least count absentee ballots in this whole process. But then I'm no demographer.

I also want to fill out the census just to spite those idiots that are convinced the census is some sort of leftist conspiracy. It's embarrassingly absurd. Even Karl Rove says it's OK to fill out the forms.

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