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Contact: Sen. Giles Ward, Chairman, Mississippi Complete Count Committee

gilesward1948@gmail.com (662) 803-0058

Statement: The Mississippi Census 2020 marketing and public relations team recently produced a PSA with Academy Award winner and native Mississippian, Morgan Freeman. This PSA has currently caught scrutiny for using a “postcard” with a QR code on it. This resource was sent out nationally through the US Census Bureau. There was a last-minute change by the Census Bureau on the aesthetics of the mailout that has drawn concern, bringing about this necessary statement.

The Focus Group has gone above and beyond to not only fix the PSA produced, but to also help the U.S. Census Bureau by educating them on how widespread the information about use of the postcard and/or QR code is in several other states including Illinois, Michigan, New York, Alabama (now deleted), Kansas, Virginia, California, Rhode Island, Catholic Charities, a California School District and other websites including the Federal Association of Scientists and the 2020census.gov website (deleted March 5).

“The Mississippi Complete Count Committee is not concerned if the resource in the mail is blue, pink, or yellow,” according to its chairman, former state Senator Giles Ward. “We don’t believe Mississippians are very concerned with that either. Our goal is to educate Mississippians on how important filling out the Census is to the great state of Mississippi. We are focused on continuing that education process to make sure every single Mississippian is counted so we ensure federal funding comes back to our state for school lunch programs, healthcare, roads and bridges, and so much more. It is regrettable that data on the Census Bureau website was changed bringing about this confusion, but we still want Mississippians to respond to their census notification.

“While it is unfortunate this needed to be made into a news cycle, we are happy that the result of this story is that more people will know about the importance of filling out the census for our state,” Ward said. “We thank Mr. Freeman and his team for working with us to get this message out. We are moving forward to continue to make sure Mississippians understand exactly what is at stake and that we want them all to be counted in the 2020 Census regardless of what resource shows up in their mailbox.”

For more information about the Mississippi Census, visit mscensus2020.org.

Link to Morgan Freeman PSA:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27UnmVPHEEE

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