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Who gets to claim him?

[Today is] National Census Day [but] one question has not been answered. Even my congressman’s staff had no answer.

As a servicemember, I am told I must have my wife fill out the Census form mailed to our house. I’m also told as a deployed servicemember I need do nothing, as the Department of Defense will give my information to the U.S. Census Bureau.

What I have never been able to get a definitive answer to is, what state gets to count me for the original purpose of the decennial Census? I originally enlisted while living in Michigan’s 6th District. I am stationed in Kentucky’s 1st. When not deployed, I live in Tennessee’s 7th. When I returned to active service I used a recruiter in Alabama’s 4th, and the Army lists that as my home of record, though I have been a resident, registered voter and licensed driver in Florida’s 10th for the past decade.

So, who gets to count me? I am sure there are many others who have similar stories. I suspect either Alabama or Tennessee will be counting me toward their state’s numbers for the reapportionment of congressional seats and Electoral College votes, but I vote in Florida.

It is too late to find a fix for this year’s count, but can we find a way to make it right by 2020?

Spc. Arthur KetchumJoint Base Balad, Iraq


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