Stephen Buckner, a Census Bureau spokesman, said the partners program is voluntary and unpaid, and that Acorn employees won’t be paid to knock on doors and enumerate as part of that organization, although it is impossible to know if the federal government would ultimately hire someone associated Acorn.
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The Census Bureau remains without a director, and as a result, it has been difficult for the bureau to put forward a unified public front on a host of issues, including public assurances that Acorn won’t be intricately involved in the count. At this time, the Census’ director would likely be traveling around the country discussing the count.
Republicans have been blocking the confirmation vote on President Barack Obama’s choice to head the bureau, Robert Groves. There were initial concerns about Dr. Groves in part because he is an expert in statistical sampling and conservatives say the Constitution bars sampling for the decennial count. The Obama administration and Dr. Groves assured Congress sampling wouldn’t be used. Republicans have declined to comment on why the nomination has been held up.