I need your help. Prison gerrymandering gives extra political power to legislators who have prisons in their districts. We put numbers on the problem and sparked a movement to protect our democratic process from the overgrown prison system.

Can you help us continue the fight? All gifts made this year will be automatically matched by other donors. Thank you.

Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

Messenger Post editorial calls for fair redistricting in New York

by Leah Sakala, August 10, 2011

The Canandaigua Messenger Post published a strong editorial this week calling for redistricting reform in the State of New York. After decrying the Legislative Advisory Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR)’s partisan ties, the editorial pointed out that it looks like at least some legislators are heading in the right direction:

There are signs the lawmakers have noticed. For instance, the task force intended to ignore a new law that requires prison inmates to be counted in the district in which they lived before their incarceration. Until last year, they had been counted as living in the district in which they were imprisoned, a move that helped pad population numbers for upstate Senate Republicans.

Lawmakers now say they’ll follow the law, which is still being challenged in court by Senate Republicans. That lent irony to task force co-chairman state Sen. Michael Nozzolio’s assertion that, “the law will be complied with, whatever that law is.”

It’s clear that where incarcerated people are counted has a significant impact on the fairness of New York’s district boundaries. With New York’s democracy at stake, there’s a lot to lose.

If you’d like a detailed overview of how prison-based gerrymandering factors into the issues that New York’s redistricting process is currently facing, check out the Legislative Gazette‘s recent article that comprehensively explains where things stand.

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