Bucks, Montco residents getting survey criticized for imitating US Census form

Jim Melwert
February 10, 2020 - 1:51 pm

BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A mailing from the Republican National Committee, which came under fire nationally because of its resemblance to the U.S. Census form, is now raising eyebrows up in the Philadelphia area. 

The mailing is titled "2020 Congressional District Census." Under the title, it clearly says it is commissioned by the Republican Party.

But along with a four-page letter signed by RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, it also has a two-page form that looks nearly identical to the U.S. government's Census.

Suburban Philadelphia residents are receiving a mailing from the Republican National Committee that has come under fire nationally because of its resemblance to the U.S. Census form.
Courtesy of Charlotte C. Reese
Charlotte Reese, a Bucks County resident and mother of a KYW Newsradio reporter, received the mailing. She says it's misleading. She says she thought it was official.

"Because it actually looks like the real Census. My daughter was with me, so I showed it to her, and she right away said, 'Do not fill that out. That's not anything to do with the census.'"

The mailings have also been sent to some residents in Montgomery County. Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean says, while there are no laws banning a letter that looks like the U.S. Census, she questions why the form was made to look so similar, especially as the Trump administration has fought in court over the questions that will be allowed on the Census survey.

"What worries me deeply is any organization where they’re putting out something that is deceptive," Dean said.

She says she worries people will fill out this form and then ignore the real Census, which won’t be sent out until next month.

The enclosed letter urges participation in the "national effort," adding it "will provide us with the detailed data we need concerning Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District," which is held by Republican Brian Fitzpatrick and expected to be one of the more highly contested congressional districts in November.

When asked for comment, the U.S. Census Bureau sent a link to their website advising people how to avoid scams and fraud.