Magazine article The Christian Century

Utah Sues Census to Count Missionaries

Magazine article The Christian Century

Utah Sues Census to Count Missionaries

Article excerpt

Missionaries living abroad have not been counted by the U.S. Census Bureau since 1940, but the agency does include in its counting diplomats, military personnel and other federal employees and dependents temporarily residing outside the country.

Because of that, Utah Governor Mike Leavitt has filed suit to challenge the 2000 census for not including more than 14,000 Mormon missionaries from Utah--an omission that is probably costing the state a seat in the House of Representatives. Utah had beaten North Carolina for the seat until the latter's overseas military and diplomatic personnel gave North Carolina the edge by 856 residents.

The suit will move quickly to a three-judge panel in mid-March, skipping two preliminary hearings, under an agreement announced January 12 by Utah and the Census Bureau, according to the Associated Press. "Common sense and constitutional rights call for all of Utah's citizens to be counted," said Leavitt.

The governor was joined in the suit by Utah's congressional delegation, state legislative leaders and four Mormon missionaries. …

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