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Tell Your Representatives to Cosponsor H.R. 931 to Make the American Community Survey Voluntary

Dear FreedomWorks member,

As one of our million-plus FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 931, to make participation in the American Community Survey (ACS) voluntary. Introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), the bill would remove any criminal penalties imposed for not completing the ACS. The U.S. Census Bureau currently randomly selects 3 million Americans to fill out the ACS. If people refuse to complete the intrusive survey, they can be subjected to a fine up to $5,000. The bill would make the ACS optional by removing all fines for not completing the survey.

The decennial census is mandated by Article 1 of the Constitution in order to keep seating in Congress proportional to state populations. But the ACS is an additional government survey that is not mandated in the Constitution. It is taken every year and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to administer. The survey contains extremely personal questions such as: how many people do you live with? What is your relationship with them? What race are they? Do you have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs? Do you have difficulty dressing or bathing? Many Americans are understandably uncomfortable answering these private questions.

The ACS additionally asks questions about your housing situation such as: how many automobiles do you have? Do you have a refrigerator? How much money do you think your house would sell for? This personal information is simply none of the government’s business. One can only imagine what federal bureaucrats are planning to do with this information.

Americans should not be forced to fill out this long and intrusive survey. The bill would give everyone the choice on whether or not they want to submit such personal information to the federal government. I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 931, to make participation in the American Community Survey voluntary.


Matt Kibbe
President and CEO
[Click here for a PDF version of this letter.]


James Tapella

Mr. Copsey is absolutely dead wrong. I don't know if he was "selected" to complete the most recent ACS, but it is most intrusive and none of the federal government's business. Maybe he is happy with redistribution of wealth, but I'm not. In our community, we don't need the federal government to tell us where to build our next firehouse.

Joseph Copsey

Making this survey voluntary is a bad idea. More than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed based on this survey. This survey is the main way we gauge how we're doing as a country -- who's in poverty, who has subsistant housing, who is missing basic needs, where are the linguistically isolated areas, who would need the most help in emergency preparedness, and so on. Yeah, they're personal questions. But the answers are vital for making important public policy decisions.

Barb Bevans

Called my Senator and Congressman to have this made voluntary. This is an intrusion of privacy. I believe it is a part of the U.N. Agenda 21 plan. If you are not familiar with it...go to and learn about it. It has been and is being implemented on a local level all over the U.S. under the guise of Sustainable developement and the Environmental movement.


The government has become far too intrusive, and I for one will resist an invasion of my privacy. The government already has all the information they need to manage and they still can't do. Just look at the state of the nation. I do not exist for the government, they exist because of me and the rest of the taxpaying citizens in our country. Let's work at cutting government by at least half and make them accountable to "We The People" again!

incometaxaphobe's picture
K. C. Brooks

Redistribution of wealth is a bad idea. The government should get out of the charity business. This is just another way to buy votes. The data from the surveys, just like almost all data is analyzed in a way to grow government and is usually skewed to benefit progressive policies.