Should we participate in the Census if we are treated as second-class citizens?
Every ten years, the US conducts a Census of all US citizens. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that an apportionment of representatives among the states must be carried out every 10 years. The Census results are used in many ways, including zoning political districts, distributing government funds to the community, or for statistical purposes.
However, as Registered Persons, we are often viewed as less than full citizens. We must endure degradation of freedom beyond any other class of citizens in America. Many of us forced to register also abide by laws that dictate where we can live, work and play; in this survey, only 3 of the 30 respondents have not endured additional hardships like residency restrictions, registry fees, community notification, proximity/ anti-loitering laws, or GPS monitoring. Of the four who traveled outside the US, all 4 experienced difficulties in travel.
Due to these hardships we endure as Registered Persons, some people had suggested we do not participate in the US Census. People in this Anti-Registry Movement have not exactly been proficient at engaging in acts of defiance, such as refusing participate in the US Census. To gauge the attitudes of those within our movement, I conducted a survey. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic began days after I posted the survey, and as a result, I only received 30 responses. While the sample size was really small, it still gives us a window into the attitudes of those associated with this Anti-Registry Movement.
Of the 30 respondents, 18 stated they would take the US Census survey, 10 said they would refuse to take the US Census as a protest against the registry, and 2 stated they would not take the Census but for other reasons. Even with this small sample size, a few statistics stand out.
Political alignment apparently has little impact on the census decision. Of the respondents stating they would take the Census, nine considered themselves “Centrist”, five were left-leaning while 4 were right-leaning. Of those who refused to take the Census as a protest of the registry, four were “Centrist”, three were left-leaning and three were right-leaning. Of those refusing to take the Census for other resons, one was a “Centrist” and one was right-leaning.
Political party affiliation also seemingly had little to do with the decision to participate in the US Census, both Democrats and Republicans seemed more willing to take the Census. Of those who would take the Census, eight identified as Republican, five as Democrat, four as Libertarian, and one as “other.” Of those who would refuse the Census as a protest of the registry, three were Republican, three were Libertarian, and one each identified as Green, Constitution, or “Other Third Party.” Of the two who refused to take the Census on other grounds, one was a Republican, and one was “Other Third Party.” Overall, four more Democrats and four more Republicans chose to take the Census than not.
Where political party affiliation and political alignment seemed to matter most concerns the active participation in the Anti-Registry Movement according to this survey’s results.
Of the 16 respondents who consider themselves “active members” of efforts to reform the registry, three each considered themselves Democrat or Republican, the other ten were divided among third parties. Eight of the respondents were left-leaning, six were “Centrist”, and only two were right-leaning.
Of the 13 respondents who don’t consider themselves to be activists but either support our efforts or use our services, eight were Republicans, three were Democrats, and two were third-party candidates. Six respondents were right-leaning, seven were “Centrist” but none were left-leaning.
The sole respondent who stated they were not affiliated with any effort to reform the registry and does not support such efforts was a right-leaning Republican.
If political alignment impacts participation in the movement as a whole, it can be assumed this lack of participation in registry reform efforts could also impact the result of this survey; those who are not active participants in this movement are likely not taking surveys, so it is possible those not taking this survey are also not active within the cause. If this is the case, then right-leaning individuals are less likely to help the cause or if they are involved, they are more likely to offer support behind the scenes or simply visit the sites to collect resources for their own use. Assuming this is true, emphasis should be placed on the importance of active participation for right-leaning registrants.
At the end of my survey, I added a section where people could add any additional comments about the Census. Here are their answers:
June 16: Sex offenders can and do change. I have for the better.
Mar 31: F*** the United States. A decent country would not have sex offender registries. I definitely considered not completing the census. But in the end I decided that the area where I live should be as nice and good as possible. So I completed it. But f*** them and all people who think registries are acceptable.
Mar 23: I think the problem is that registered citizens are not understood by the overall public. I do not think they are linked in any way or used anyway to, for example, see where people live registered and how it correlated to similar future sexual crimes, etc. It makes no difference and I do not feel they relate in any way that I know of.
Mar 19: I need not repeat myself in the census due to the federal and state government already having all pertinent information.
Mar 18: I refuse to help anyone get money when I am being shunned.
Mar 18: There should be a box you can check on the census to show you are a registered citizen so you can be excluded from the overall count.
Mar 17: They are not monsters. They are humans just as anyone else.
Mar 17: The state of Florida has not restored my voting rights as a former felon who has completed his sentence and paid all monies due. This is because I was convicted of a felony sex offense, and am excluded according to recently-enacted Florida Amendment 4. I refuse to be a part of the census as a protest against the Amendment 4 carve-out of registered citizens. The federal government should have stepped in and protected my rights by declaring Amendment 4 to be illegal! I WANT MY VOTE!!!!
Mar 16: If there is a question on the census about our criminal history I will not fill it out
Mar 13: Registered citizens have the lowest recidivism rate and yet they are treated worse than murderess and drug dealers, who BTW have one of the highest recidivism rates. Police officers are 14 times more likely to commit a sex act. Those that do reoffend the majority of them do so with a non sex crime (usually failure to register information). If there is going to be draconian laws that are exactly like the Nuremburg laws everyone, including the U.S., fought against and called evil. Under these laws Germany ostracized sex offenders then came after the Jews and we all know what came of that. Then the drug dealers and users were attacked. Again we know what came of that. History has shown us that these types of laws do nothing but create a worse problem. This has been proven over and over again yet our legislators and media spread the myth.
Mar 12: There are so few (if any) resources available to those who want to truly be productive members of society! My offense was 20+ years ago with no related recidivism. I’m still hindered in many ways.
Mar 7: In this “Free” country I am not allowed to vote and treated as a second class citizen. (I’ve) been punished for the past 17 years on the registry, unable to gain employment nor rent an apartment, the list goes on, yet required to reply to the census. Unbelievable.
Mar 7: When I moved to this town they plastered my pic in front of all the teachers including my best friend’s daughter. Five years later they wouldn’t know me if I danced naked on the schools 50 yard line. But all my friends know.
Derek Logue: I will not participate in the US Census because of my treatment as a second-class citizen. The registry has way too much information about me. Until the registry is abolished, I see no need to give them any more of my personal data.
Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com