Your June 9 editorial omits key facts about the census and citizenship question. The government has every right to know who is in the country and their citizenship status. The citizenship question has been part of the census since 1970 on the long form provided to every sixth household. The question has also been used in the periodic American Community Survey conducted annually since 2005 (3.5 million households per year) with no complaints about its presence on the form.

There is no evidence (only speculation) in your editorial that use of the citizenship question has provided a partisan advantage to either party. The census is mandatory by law. Fear of consequences of participation is not a defensible reason to avoid answering the questions. The census has a well-developed, robust statistical program for minimizing any undercount. A complete head count is the most desirable result but there are many reasons for an incomplete count and they are addressed by the Census Bureau using statistical methods.

Instead of stirring up partisan divisions over the use of the citizenship questions, you should be using your editorial voice and influence to encourage participation in the census.

Arthur Drennan


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