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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.

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Chemung County, New York

According to the 2000 Census, Chemung County, New York has a population of 91,070 people. Of those, 82,840 (90%) are White, 5,303 (5%) are Black, and 1,609 (1%) are Latino[1]. However, 3,000 (or 3% of the 91,070 people) are not residents by choice but are people in prison.

Even though prisoners cannot participate in the local community, the Census Bureau nevertheless counts them as residents of the county where they are incarcerated.

A more accurate description would not include the prisoners. This would give Chemung County a population of 88,070 with a demographic that is 93% White, 4% Black, and 1% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Incarcerated
population
Actual
population
Total 91,070 3,000 88,070
White 82,840 879 81,961
Black 5,303 1,715 3,588
Latino 1,609 644 965


Notes:

[1]The numbers for Whites, Blacks and Latinos may not add up to the total number because we have not included racial groups other than Whites and Blacks and because the Census Bureau considers "Latino" to be an ethnicity, not a race. Most of the people reported as being Latino are also counted as being White or Black.

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