Old Fashioned Census

By: STEPHEN OHLEMACHER - Associated Press Writer
By: STEPHEN OHLEMACHER - Associated Press Writer

Technology problems will force the Census Bureau to return to using paper and pencil to count the nation's 300 million residents in the 2010 census.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez was scheduled to tell a House subcommittee Thursday that the government will scrap plans to use handheld computers to collect information from the millions who don't return census forms in the mail.

The change will add as much as $3 billion to the cost of the constitutionally mandated count. That would push the overall cost to more than $14 billion.

The handheld computers, which look like high-tech cell phones, will still be used to verify street addresses. But workers going door-to-door will have to collect information the old-fashioned way.

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