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Government & Politics

Imitation Census Reported In Cascade County

Imitation 2020 census paperwork sent through the mail.
Montana Department of Commerce
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Montana Department of Commerce
The Republican National Committee sent imitation census paperwork to residents in Cascade County.

Montana Department of Commerce officials say the Republican National Committee sent imitation census paperwork to residents in Cascade County. Similar look-alike mailings appeared in Montana last fall.

State officials say some Cascade County residents recently received a mailer titled the “2020 Congressional District Census.”

The census look-a-like asks respondents to pay at least $15 for processing what the RNC calls a “Census Document."

Josh Manning, spokesperson for the U.S. Census in Montana, says the officials with the 2020 count will ask for demographic information but nothing personal.

“We’re not going to ask for your bank account information. We’re not going to ask for money. And we’re definitely not going to ask for your social security number. And we’re not going to ask for your political beliefs,” Manning said. 

Manning says documents that appear to be from the U.S. Census seeking that information should be reported to officials on census.gov

According to a state commerce department press release, the RNC sent the same mailer to people in Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Jefferson and Missoula counties last year. They were also reported in Alabama, New York and Missouri.

Last week, members of the U.S. House Oversight Committee asked the U.S. Census Bureau to get involved and requested these kinds of spoofed mailers be stopped.

The official 2020 Census count will begin mid-March and will determine Montana’s share of federal funding for the next decade. It could also determine whether Montana gets another seat in the U.S. House.

Further information on fraudulent census papers can be found here.