Governor Steve Bullock today sent a letter to the Republican National Committee (RNC) urging the group to cease and desist from issuing imitation Census surveys in a fundraising effort.
“These imitation Census surveys are designed to confuse Montanans, and make them think they may need to respond and pay the suggested processing fee. We are gravely concerned that when the actual Census questionnaires are distributed, Montanans who had received RNC mailers may be under the impression that they have already responded to the Census, disregard the real Census survey, and lead to an undercount in Montana,” Governor Bullock wrote in the letter. “An undercount has real, economic consequences for the lives of Montanans and should not be sacrificed for private fundraising.”
Some Montana residents recently received a mailer from the RNC. The survey looks like a Census form, calls itself a “census,” arrives in an envelope stamped “official document,” and asks respondents to pay, at minimum, $15 for processing. Mailers have been sent to residents in Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Jefferson and Missoula counties.
After the RNC sent similar mailers during the last decennial Census, Congress passed a bipartisan measure in an effort to stop deceptive mailers.
It is estimated that Montana receives more than $2 billion each year because of the Census. The state will lose an estimated $20,000 over the next decade for each Montanan who doesn’t complete the Census. A complete and accurate count for Montanans will ensure a fair apportionment of funds will go toward education, health care, maintaining infrastructure and other programs. Governor Bullock wrote that politics shouldn’t impede the 2020 Census effort.
“There are some institutions in this country that must remain apolitical. Red and blue states alike equally count on having an accurate decennial Census, and anything that could degrade or discourage the ability to get a full and complete count must be stopped,” Governor Bullock wrote.
Governor Bullock’s letter is here.
Montanans who want to help spread accurate information about the official 2020 Census are encouraged to join a local Complete Count Committee. Learn more about these local efforts through the Montana Department of Commerce and find accurate information regarding the 2020 Census at CENSUS.MT.GOV.