the census is rather important politically- it's used to allocate the number of house representatives a state gets, the number of electoral college votes it gets and is used in the distribution of federal funds. the whole point of the census is, in essence, for the allocation of representatives in federal government. what they can ask is encoded in law-and is part of the constitution( article 1 section 2) which the president of the united states takes an oath to uphold, as do all your representatives. information obtained in the census is sworn to be confidential even from law enforcement agencies. all census employees swear an affidavit of non- disclosure. but this alleged privacy has been violated many times with little or no exposure of the transgression.
the census data was used to round up japanese americans during world war 2- helping to identify where they lived. only the quakers and aclu voiced any objection. census data is routinely used by companies in determining whether to issue home loans or insurance policies- this disproportionately effects the minorities and the poor. the census has asked if you are a legal citizen of the country- thus become a way to target specific communities of illegals. the irs has attempted to obtain census information to match up with those who have not paid their income tax. under the guise that one has to respond to the census or be fined, the census bureau has routinely included a whole host of questions you are not required by law to answer- it is never specified that these extra questions you are within your rights not to answer. in point, the census has been employed to deprive citizens of their rights and right to privacy through threats of fines and false promises of confidentiality.
according to the constitution you are only required to answer these census questions to fulfill your legal responsibility:
The actual number of people living at the address printed on the form
Age of each person in accordance with US Const. Amendment XIV, Section 2.
Sex of each person, in accordance with US Const. Amendment XIV, Section 2.
you do not have to submit your ssn, date of birth, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity, sexual preference, political affiliation, income, your name, your legal status to be in the USA, if you own a gun, what you do for a living, where you were born- the list is endless of what they could and have asked that you are not required to answer . this was upheld by US District Judge Melinda Harmon in 2000( the date of the last census) who issued a restraining order against the government to keep them from punishing/fining anyone for refusing to answer anything but the number of inhabitants in a dwelling . title 13 of the united states code which seeks to compel people to answer such questions is not part of the constitution and is in fact a violation of the 4th and 5th amendments both of which can be used on excellent legal grounds to not answer questions other than how many people live in a dwelling.
in 2000 , i was tormented by the census peeps that are sent out when you do not answer every single question on the long form. i answered all that was legally required and told them they were harassing me and violating my privacy and constitutionally protected rights. it was used as an excuse, i fully believe, to repeatedly knock me off the voting list. i was continually sent warnings that if i kept refusing to answer all the other questions , i would be removed from the voting list- a profound violation of my rights as a citizen. when i went in person to complain to my city's election committee, they told me this was because my address didn't exist- not because of my census information or lack thereof ( which they had no legal right to according to the constitution and the oaths sworn by the census bureau). seeing how the census form came to my address and the census taker came to my address and that the cards telling me i was being removed from the voting list (rendered ' inactive voter ' even though i have voted in every single election here in the past ten years) because i ' didn't fill out the census' came to my address and that the address has existed for well over 50 years, this caused me to explode into laughter( and caused several of them to leap out of their birkenstocks) and then threaten of legal action. suddenly i appeared on the voting list and my address was magically recognized.
to this day i am still, however, always listed as ' inactive voter' at my polling place and must fill out an affidavit at the site in order to vote. yesterday i got another one of those cards telling me i will be placed on the 'inactive voters list' again even though i have, according to state general law, voted in the last 2 consecutive state elections which legally means i should have been kept on the voting list. this in one of the bluest states in the union and one of the most liberal cities in the country. where would my vote have been in this liberal wonderland if i didn't stand upon my rights and demand to be placed on the voting list- and all this while democrats and assorted liberals were bellowing about stolen elections and rights denied by a sitting republican president? while it was a vast right wing conspiracy that people seemed to basically not know how to physically fill in their ballots when they voted, i was being heaved by democrats off the voting list because i declined to state my race on the census. if you think the census asking if you have a flush toilet and the color of your skin is the government's right and couldn't possibly be used against you to deprive you of your rights- think again. depriving citizens of their right to vote and using the census to do so is the act of a tyranny not a democracy.
and yes they do ask if you have a flush toilet....
and if anyone in your dwelling is struggling with ' mental illness' and has trouble making choices....