Terre Haute, Indiana columnist says city should consider modifying Census Bureau’s prison count data

Counting inmates in council districts skews representation.

by Peter Wagner, April 23, 2010

Mark Bennett writes in the Terre Haute Indiana Tribune Star on April 15: Does counting inmates in council districts skew representation? Policy group says yes.

Bennett explains the One Person One Vote problem created by padding one City Council ward with a large and growing federal prison complex, and interviews the city councilor from that district who says he wouldn’t oppose change.

The final paragraphs of the column:

“If the town wants to give everyone the same influence over city affairs, they need to give everyone in the city the same access to government,” Wagner said.

The city should consider Wagner’s point before drawing those lines….

This column reflects a new stage in a years-long debate in Terre Haute. I wrote letters to the editor in July 2009 and March 2006. With city council redistricting almost upon us, the timing is right for reform.

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