Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 51, § 4 mandates an annual street listing (town census) of residents as of January 1st of each year. Annually, residents are mailed a street listing (census) form to complete. Please respond promptly to this state requirement, which provides proof of residence to protect voting rights, veteran's benefits, housing for the elderly and related benefits as well as providing information for selection of jurors. Return the form to the Town Clerk’s Office either by mail or by dropping it in black "Town Bills and Correspondence" box outside of Town Hall, 100 Maple Ave.
If you need assistance or have questions, please feel free to contact: Town Clerk’s Office at (508)-841-8507 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO RETURN THE CENSUS?
The Census is used to...
- Assist public safety and emergency responders
- Apply for grants
- Assist the Town and State in calculating State and Federal aid
- Project future school enrollment and school registration outreach
- Update the voter list – if you are a voter and do not respond, you could be made inactive
- Serve as proof of residency - which residents need to qualify for veteran’s benefits, in-state tuition at state schools and other programs
All residents, not just voters, should return the form each year.
If you wish to verify your voter registration status, click here: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/
Why do I have to answer the Annual Street Listing/Census?
It’s important to return your street list, because years from now, you may need to prove that you or your children lived in Shrewsbury or resided in Massachusetts during a certain time period and the street list for that year is the proof of residency. And YES you need to answer it each and every year.
What do I need to do with the form?
Please look over the names listed on the form. If there are no changes to the pre-printed information, simply sign and date the form and return it to the Town Clerk’s Office.
- Add any new people who reside at your address and indicate with “M” (Moved) or “D” (Deceased) if someone has moved or passed away.
- Students living away at school, residents who are in a nursing home or away in the military are still considered residents of Shrewsbury and can remain on the census.
- Check to see that the date of birth is correct for each person and correct it if it is not.
- Please list a contact phone number for the household.
- Please add or correct the “Occupation” column listed on the form.
- The “Voter” column tells you what each person’s voter registration status is. Y means the individual is a voter and N means the individual is not a voter. You cannot use the Street List Form to change your voter registration. To register to vote you need to complete a new Voter Registration Form or apply online at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/
What happens if I don’t return the form?
Registered voters who do not return the Annual Street List Form mailing will be designated as “Inactivate” voters on the street list. Inactive voters are removed from the voters list if they do not vote in at least one of the following state elections. Such persons will only be eligible to vote after they fill out an “Affirmation of Current and Continuous Residence” the next time they come to vote. Every voter that fails to complete the form has to be contacted a second time by confirmation notice, which takes additional time, paper and postage.
How is the Census Information Used?
The information from the returned street list forms has many different uses. These are some of them:
- The Town Clerk uses it to maintain the list of registered voters and to help the town keep an up-to-date list of where residents live.
- The School Department can request reports to help them to project future levels of school enrollment.
- The Council on Aging uses the information when applying for grants and to estimate the possible demand for services to those over age 60.
- The Office of the Jury Commissioner uses each community’s street list to compile a list of residents for jury duty. An accurate list provides for a fair and representative jury pool.
- The Veterans Agent receives a list of the U.S. Military veterans in Town so he can help veterans with their needs. It will also be used to verify residence for the “Welcome Home” bonus.
- The presence of a person’s name on the street list may also be used to establish residency for a number of things: to qualify for in-state college tuition; for job applications or special low-cost loan programs; even for adoption applications.
Who should complete the street list form?
Any adult residing in the home can complete and sign the form. Please indicate any forwarding addressed of those who have moved to another address.