Should the U.S. Census count missionaries?

The U.S. Census Bureau won't count Mormon missionaries serving abroad in its 2010 Census.

It's just too hard to get a reliable count, Census officials told Utah's elected leaders. That hurts Utah's tally in the Census, because our state has thousands of U.S. citizens serving abroad as Mormon missionaries.

Too hard to get a reliable count seems like a lazy excuse to us. Census Bureau officials are handling this issue in a manner that seems as if they are not looking hard for a solution. It would be relatively easy -- and painless -- to obtain names of overseas missionaries. These missionaries are U.S. citizens. They all have passport records. These are not tax cheats or secretive individuals living abroad for dysfunctional reasons. Those citizens will avoid Census efforts.

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