Republican National Committee Sends Mailer Imitating Census Survey

May 10, 2019

The Republican National Committee is sending out policy surveys with the option of enclosing $15 for processing a "Census Document." The Montana Department of Commerce is reminding Montana residents the actual U.S. Census will begin in March 2020 and will not ask for any money.

Communications Director Emilie Ritter Saunders says they want to know if you receive one of these mailers or another look-alike document.

“Let us know about it. If they’re not sure whether they should respond, you know, checking in with one of your local Census Complete Count Committees is a good first step. Looking for the tell-tale signs of where it came from to spot whether it’s an imitation, so again checking the post-mark. Making sure it’s mailed from U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau,” says Ritter Saunders.

The Missoulian reported Thursday the survey, called a "2019 Congressional District Census," was mailed this week. It is unclear how many were sent, but Ritter Saunders said residents in Clancy, Helena and Missoula reported receiving the mailer.

It asks if recipients plan to support President Donald Trump in 2020, if they support a southern border wall and what media source they use for political news. It seeks donations from $25 to $1,000 or the $15 processing fee.

Under federal law, the U.S. Postal Service cannot accept Census look-alike mailings unless they identify the sender. Ritter Saunders says you should look for any fine print saying it was commissioned or paid for by another group.

A Republican National Committee official told The Missoulian they continue to send the mailers because they receive a positive response.