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This Local Woman Is Using Dating Apps to Get People to Fill Out the Census

It’s only been two weeks, but responses have mostly been positive—well, other than getting kicked off Tinder.

A few days ago, MacKenzie Ross got kicked off Tinder.

Most of the time, if someone gets banned from a dating app, it's probably not for something they'd readily admit to in public. But Ross, 33, insists she didn't do anything skeezy.

"All they said was I violated their terms of service," she says. "It might be because of 'political activity.'"

Even then, though, Ross would dispute the characterization: She wasn't canvassing for a partisan cause, or leading a "get out the vote" campaign. She was just reminding people to fill out the census.

Ross, who works as a librarian in Washington County, recently read that the response rate for the 2020 census in Oregon was 67%—not nearly high enough for a statistics nerd such as herself. And as a single woman, she figured the most efficient way for her to get the word out would be through online dating.

So she reinstalled Bumble, Hinge and other popular apps, and set up profiles for the sole purpose of getting the link for the 2020 census form in front of as many strangers as possible, answering prompts like "A Shower Thought I recently had" with "Creating dating profiles with the census link: www.2020census.gov. Shockingly, still single and way too bored."

It's only been two weeks, but other than getting flagged by Tinder, responses have mostly been positive, with many respondents thanking her for the reminder.

Ross says the project is purely about upping the state's response rate. That said, she is single. And if she gets to chatting with someone who feels as strongly about stats, school funding and the other benefits of an accurate census, that's a bonus.

"With COVID, dating is not a high priority for me right now," she says. "But if I meet someone who is amazing and gets me, I'm not going to pass them up."