One census that has arrived in the mailboxes of Lower Bucks County residents could be confused with the U.S. Census.
Several readers of LevittownNow.com and NewtownPANow.com have reported receiving a “Congressional District Census” from the National Republican Committee between last week and this past weekend. The mailing targeted residents in the First Congressional District and further probing revealed it had also been received it the central part of the county.
The official-looking document stamped with “First Class” asked recipients demographic data, their thoughts on a number of issues, and provided information on how they could make a donation to support Republicans. The envelope states “DO NOT DESTROY – OFFICIAL DOCUMENT.”
While the document asks if the recipient would be interesting in helping President Donald Trump’s campaign, a Levittown Republican who received the letter raised the concern to this news organization that the document could be confusing to a new citizen, young person who is receiving the Census for the first time, or an older person.
Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s campaign said they were not involved with the survey. The National Republican Congressional Committee also said they had no involvement. The National Republican Committee, whose information is included on the document, did not pick up their press contact phone line several times on Tuesday.
Numerous news organizations have reported similar documents have gone out in congressional districts over the past few years. The documents have also been criticized in the past for appearing to look like the U.S. Census.
The documents may appear similar to the U.S. Census, but are legal to distribute, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The First Congressional District, which includes all of Bucks County and a portion of Montgomery County, is a battleground for both Democrats and Republicans. Both parties are expected to invest significant amounts of energy and money in campaigning locally.
Bucks County, state, and federal officials are encouraging every single resident fill out the official U.S. Census later this year.
The U.S. Census, which happens every 10 years, is needed to obtain key demographic information used by the government and public. It also determines how congressional districts are made up and factors into funding. Bucks County officials said last year that failure to count every resident could deny the county up to $2,000 in federal funding for each person not counted, or $20,000 over the span of a decade.
“The importance of a complete and accurate 2020 Census cannot be overstated,” Bucks County Commissioner Chairperson Diane Ellis-Marseglia.