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Minnesota Opinion: For Minnesota, census counts

An excerpt from recent Minnesota editorials.

By The Associated Press

For Minnesota, census counts

Amid the euphoria of spring and the stress of the intensifying semester, students should not forget to send back their U.S. census form. As laid out by the Constitution, this once-a-decade headcount is an essential civic duty and an important determinant of a state's political clout. The 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are divvied up among the 50 states according to their share of the population as counted by the census.

As one of four states vying for just three seats, Minnesota is on the cusp of losing one of its eight congressional districts. The state demographer estimates that missing just 1,100 people could make the difference. Counting every single person is critical.

In an ironic twist, Rep. Michele Bachmann -- who has railed against the census as a harbinger of citizen internment and ACORN-takeover -- could be the one to lose her job; her serpentine district snakes between all but one of the state's other districts.

Despite the potentially tempting prospect of a forced retirement for Minnesota's most controversial celebrity politician, students should set aside a moment to fulfill their civic duty and mail in their census forms by the April 16 deadline. Any student living outside of their parents, home on April 1 should fill out the brief census form for their current address, whether they live in dorms or off-campus. The same is true for international students.

Soon, census employees will begin going door to door -- at a cost of almost $60 per visit -- to attempt to count those who failed this easiest of civics tests. Nationwide, Minnesota's current response rate is second only to Wisconsin's. Don't be responsible for an off-field defeat to the Badgers.

-- The Minnesota Daily