Massachusetts General Law c. 51 §4 requires an annual census. This census form must be completed as accurately as possible to ensure proof of residence, protection of voting rights, and other benefits.
Residents are to include all persons and animals as requested and remember to sign it.
Signed forms can be left in the Town Hall Drop Box to the right of Town Hall doors, hand delivered or mailed to Town Hall. Scanned signed forms can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the Massachusetts Annual Census
The decennial census was mandated in 1787 when the Founding Fathers wrote Article 1 Section 2 of the US Constitution to primarily apportion political representation. But it even before that that (1600’s) Massachusetts instituted the annual census. Although the law has been amended over the years, taking a yearly count of residents is still required by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 51 Section 4.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts maintains tight security of our census system in accordance with current data security laws. It allows for specially protected classes of residents whose names do not appear on the public street list, information about minors under the age of seventeen is never released to the public and there are no social security numbers or financial information tied to the census.
As per this law, the Clerk must compile the resident count into a street list. The street list can then be used to establish residency for any number of things such as in-state tuition, job and adoption applications to name a few. Census data is important for many different reasons.