A Republican survey sent to Pennsylvania residents of Berks and Montgomery counties has a congressional representative crying foul and worrying that constituents could mistake it for the actual U.S. Census.
The Republican National Committee recently mailed out a survey titled “2020 Congressional District Census,” and it’s that use of the word “census” that Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa. 4th, says could confuse people.
“The name itself is the extraordinarily misleading identifier,” Dean said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
An RNC official pointed out that the mailers are marked as being from the RNC, and the survey itself states, “Commissioned by the Republican Party.” It also states that the purpose is to help President Donald Trump and other Republicans get reelected.
But Dean says that’s not enough to prevent confusion.
“It is in smaller print. It’s there and obviously that gives the veneer of an out, but the rest of the form just looks so boldly like a federal census form,” Dean said.
The survey asks respondents partisan questions like:
“Do you think Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-controlled House are holding President Trump’s agenda hostage and putting their political interest ahead of the good of our country?”
It also asks if respondents approve of a Democratic “witch hunt” against the president and if they agree Democrats promote a “Big Government Socialist agenda for America.”
Dean said she fears that those who fill out the RNC survey might think they’ve filled out the official U.S. Census and depress the actual census response. Starting March 12, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin sending invitations for people to complete the census form online.
The 2020 U.S. Census of the American population happens every 10 years and seeks to count every person in the country. The census is massively important in spreading out federal dollars to congressional districts and determining the number of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The census will also not contain a question about citizenship status, which the Trump administration had threatened to include before it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We need to just impart upon everybody that they need to fill out the census,” Dean said.