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On the Navajo Reservation, you sometimes hear this comment: “They live so far out, not even the census takers can find them.” This is said with a bit of pride. Sometimes, envy.
Historically, Navajos and Apaches had good reason for not wanting the government to know where they were, but you can apply this comment across the state. The second most amusing sign in New Mexico, after “Flash Flood Warning” in a place that doesn’t look like it’s seen water since the creation, is “No Trespassing.” This in places you’d find only if you had a map or got completely lost.
We take privacy seriously.
So it wasn’t entirely surprising to learn in April that New Mexicans were the nation’s second worst laggards, after Alaska, in returning their census forms. Take our penchant for minding our own business, add in the fear of identity theft and the latest negative attitudes toward government, and you have a lot of people who are reluctant to stand up and be counted.
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