NEW LEBANON–Postal customers whose mail is delivered to a post office box are asking their postmasters where their census forms are.
Melissa Eigenbrodt, the postmaster in New Lebanon, where some residents lack residential mail delivery, told The Columbia Paper that census forms are delivered to the post office bearing the physical address of the person the Census Bureau is trying to reach. In other situations, the post office can use its “local knowledge” and put the mail in the addressee’s box, she said. But census rules forbid that. “The carrier takes them out in a big box and brings back what she can’t deliver.”
Those forms are then returned to the bureau.
Assistant Regional Census Manager Patricia Valley said in an email that the questionnaires are sent to the house number in the bureau’s master address file because “there is no direct relationship to a house number and a post office box.” When the forms are returned to the bureau as undeliverable, the address automatically becomes part of a “second operation,” in which field enumerators personally visit the address.
“If for any reason you still have not been visited by the end of May, please call and we will investigate further. Our goal is to count all people where they reside most of the time,” she said.