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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has introduced legislation that would make it a Class 4 felony for a person to knowingly and falsely represent himself or herself to be a census worker in person or by any means of communication.

The move is intended to avert any efforts to use the 2020 Census for political gain in Illinois, after media outlets across the country reported that the Republican National Committee has repeatedly sent out fundraising mailers disguised to look like official census documents.

“Some things should simply be kept out of politics – the census count is one of them,” Manar said. “It is far too consequential to be diminished in any way by political gimmicks. We should be doing everything possible to ensure a full and accurate count, not sowing confusion and distrust by using the census to solicit political donations.”

Manar filed Senate Bill 3738 after being contacted by a constituent who received one of the deceptive mailers, which solicit money from respondents to cover the cost of processing the “Census Document.” They have caused confusion in other states and threaten to hinder the census count.

It’s currently against the law to impersonate a census worker in person. SB 3738 updates the law to include impersonation by all forms of communication.