The American Secular Census, an independent national registry by Secular Americans, wants to get an accurate count of how many non-believers, atheists, humanists, Secularists, skeptics, and agnostics in theUnited States.
The reason they want an accurate count as possible is that demographic surveys usually undercount Secular Americans and therefore under represented in politics. Washington D. C. is heavily influenced by the Religious Reich and American Secular Census, along with their sister site, American Secular Mainstream, want to get Secular views and opinions into the political arena.
The American Secular Mainstream Platform is based on information collected by the American Secular Census℠, the independent national registry of demographic and viewpoint data recorded by Secular Americans. We believe it represents the most evidence-based consensus of Secular American opinion currently available. The Secular Mainstream's 2012 strategy is to provide resources about candidates for President, Vice President, Congress, and state legislatures and to endorse those whose positions best reflect the values in the Platform.
Both sites were created by Mary Ellen Sikes, a web developer with more than twenty years of experience in systems analysis, programming, and technology education for government, private industry, public schools, and the non-profit sector. She became involved in the Secular movement during the 1990s, as well as founded a local humanist group and served many hours in various positions in various local and regional organizations.
The two sites are not a political organization, but they do endorse candidates, with the help of those who register with the American Secular Census. While atheism is not a requirement of a candidate the sites endorse, the American Secular Mainstream Platform states three reasons why a candidate would want a Secular endorsement.
1. The secular demographic is the fastest-growing segment of the American population; 2. Secular Americans vote at higher rates than the American population overall; and 3. In an election where religious privilege, influence, and extremism have threatened to overtake Constitutional liberties, a candidate's support of values held by the Secular Mainstream will be seen as an asset by voters growing alarmed by the threat of an ultraconservative Christian theocracy.
The American Secular Census is open to allUnited States citizens over the age of 18 and sceptical of supernatural claims. They want to an accurate count because many surveys do not filter subgroup, provide conflicting, dubious, or incomplete information, as they look for the absence of belief after filtering out for religious affiliation, and “as a result affiliated non-theists and unaffiliated believers may be inaccurately characterized”.
After individuals register, either anonymously or fully, “the American Secular Census provides an opportunity for Secular Americans to stand up and be counted regardless of self-identity, "out" status, or organizational membership”.
A comprehensive national data registry finally makes it possible to offer empirically informed responses to questions like
Does the secular voting bloc favor a particular political party? Which candidate will this population support in the next presidential election?
How many Secular Americans live in [this] Congressional district? Where do they stand on [these specific] issues?
Are there significant viewpoint, self-identity, or affiliation differences between secular men and women?
How common is a religious affiliation among Secular Americans? What motivates nontheistic individuals to participate in congregational communities and faith groups?
After one registers, either anonymously or fully, they become part of a growing body of information, data, and trends among the Secular population. These trends will be revealed to society, the media, politicians, and researchers, which the American Secular Census believes all Secular Americans will benefit from this knowledge and information.
After registering, one will receive email updates and gain access to third party resources, which help to make one a more informed citizen and voter. Some of the information in these emails, as well as the site, include data about your Congresspersons' committee assignments, bill sponsorships, largest campaign contributors, and more.
If one registers anonymously, an email address is still needed, but the survey will not ask you for your name or street address. However, the survey will ask for city, state, and zip code.
You have the option of choosing to register anonymously. In this case you will still create an e-mail-confirmed site account, but you will not be asked for your name or street address when you complete your Personal Profile form. (City, state and zip are still required so that we can track geographic trends and determine your Congressional district.) You have full control over this setting and can sign in at any time to switch it.
Scripts and queries handle the data collected and not perused by humans looking for information on individuals, but users are encouraged to update their information periodically.
Each registrant maintains an American Secular Census website account used to complete Census forms collecting personal and household information, a secular profile, a religious profile, political activism and voting patterns, philanthropy habits, parenting information, military service, public policy and social views, and opinions about secular advocacy. Users are encouraged to update their forms as frequently as needed so that at any given time the Census represents the most accurate possible snapshot of the Secular American population.
Along with emails, registered and non-registered individuals can surf the site for informative blogs and reports concerning the census and other information gathered from survey. However, at this time they cannot release the sample size until it becomes larger for stats considered more authoritative. At this point, all they can give is “snapshot” information via their blogs, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.