RNC Sends Deceptive Census Mailers In Census Year

The Republican National Committee is once again running deceptive fundraising mailers designed to look like official census forms. This time, they’re doing it in a census year, and just one month before official forms go out, making clear that their intent is to confuse Americans.

A month before the official census forms land in Americans’ mailboxes, the RNC is sending out deceptive fundraising mailers that mimic official census forms.

Cleveland.com: “Don’t Confuse This Political Notice With The Real 2020 U.S. Census Coming In March; The GOP Is Just Fishing For Info And Money”

WILX-TV: “GOP ‘Census’ Mailing Causing Confusion”

The Oklahoman: “GOP Fundraising Forms Mimic Official Census Documents”

The mailers are labeled “2020 Congressional District Census” and printed with the words “DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT.”

The Oklahoman: “In heavy ink on the envelope are the words ‘DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT,’ and ‘2020 Congressional District Census’ is written across the top of several forms, according to pictures a Norman resident sent to The Oklahoman.”

The last time the RNC sent these mailers in a census year, Congress passed a bill banning deceptive Census lookalike mailers in response.

Washington Post: “Phony census mailers are enough of a concern that Congress in 2010 passed the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act.”

The RNC’s 2020 mailers are confusing voters across the country:

PENNSYLVANIA: “The Republican National Committee has mailed forms, called the ‘2020 Congressional District Census,’ to selected homes in Montgomery and Berks counties in recent weeks. One lawmaker worries the form is purposely deceiving residents.”

OHIO: “At least some people in Northeast Ohio and maybe beyond recently received an ‘official document’ in the mail labeled the 2020 Congressional District Census. But don’t confuse it with the real 2020 U.S. Census notices that will begin going out in the mail in mid-March.  As explained in the enclosed materials, the 2020 Congressional District Census is from the Republican National Committee, collecting information on everything from political affiliation and social media habits to thoughts on tax cuts and Russia – plus a chance to donate.”

MICHIGAN: “Several people in Mid-Michigan say they’re confused after getting a letter saying President Donald Trump requested a census of every congressional district to be done right away.  It’s causing confusion because the letter isn’t coming from the government. ‘It looks like a census letter. It’s got your name on it, ‘don’t destroy,’ a lot of tracking numbers,’ said Paul Burry, who received the letter. ‘The first letter says it is a 2020 congressional census. That got my attention.’”

SOUTH CAROLINA: “It’s a one-page, two-sided mailer some could mistake for an official 2020 Census questionnaire that’s about to make it to your home in the spring.  Recently, the mailer started arriving at some South Carolina homes. At the top of the mailer it states it is a 2020 Congressional District Census, commissioned by the Republican Party. Later, it states it is paid for by the Republican National Committee.  The mailer asks things like party affiliation, if you plan on supporting President Donald Trump, and opinions on policy, including foreign and domestic. At the end of the document, it asks for donations.”

CALIFORNIA: “Some Northern California voters are receiving documents that resemble U.S. Census forms, but they are in fact fundraising appeals from the Republican National Committee.  The document, printed on heavy paper, is labeled ‘2020 Congressional District Census,’ with the words ‘DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT’ on the envelope. ‘You have been selected to represent voters in California’s 6th Congressional District. Enclosed, please find documents registered in your name,’ the document reads.”

INDIANA: “A mailer circulating in Indiana may mislead Hoosier voters about the census.  A couple of viewers reached out to Eyewitness News about it, worried the mailer – which is NOT part of the official U.S. Census – is confusing people.  … This form is not for the official U.S. Census. It’s actually a survey and fundraiser from the Republican Party, asking voters questions about their political affiliation, whether they support President Trump’s platforms and asking them to donate to the Republican National Committee.”

OKLAHOMA: “Some Oklahoma residents have received fundraising surveys from the Republican National Committee that look similar to official U.S. Census forms.  In heavy ink on the envelope are the words ‘DO NOT DESTROY OFFICIAL DOCUMENT,’ and ‘2020 Congressional District Census’ is written across the top of several forms, according to pictures a Norman resident sent to The Oklahoman.  The documents include a letter from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel of the Republican National Committee asking for support of President Donald Trump and soliciting donations to the party.”