LWVUS is aware of mailers labeled “2019 Congressional District Census” allegedly sent by the RNC to at least seven states so far (California, Louisiana, Montana, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington State). Although the forms look nothing like a real census form, the partisan nature of the content, request for payment, and the labeling of “census” is concerning, as it could cause confusion in many communities. This sort of misinformation campaign is not new; however, given the political climate around the census, we want to be careful not to counter the misinformation with messaging that would discourage the public from participating in the actual census next year. Our goal is to inform – not instill fear or anger.
Our message recommendation is to use straight-forward facts to provide accurate information without emotion:
• The only official U.S. census form comes directly from the U.S. Census Bureau.
• Any mailer or outreach not from the U.S. Census Bureau is not an official 2020 Census operation. Verify if something you received is an official Census Bureau mailing.
• Any survey by an outside group mentioning the census is not part of the official U.S. Census.
• Anyone who has participated in these surveys should still plan to participate in the U.S. census starting in March 2020.
If you receive an unknown mailing, please take a photo and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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