AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci is encouraging Mainers to complete and mail back their U.S. Census forms, saying that doing so is critical for government to work effectively.

The governor says it takes 10 minutes to answer 10 questions.

Responses to the census form should include everyone living at an address as of Census Day, April 1, 2010, the official day of the population count. It is not necessary to wait until April 1 to return the form, however. Forms should be returned as soon as possible.

Mailing back a form ensures an accurate count and lowers the cost of the 2010 Census by reducing the number of census workers who must go door-to-door.

For more information, visit 2010census.gov.