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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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Incarcerated populations in Minnesota House districts

Appendix 1. This table shows that relying on Census figures for drawing districts masks inequalities in voting power between districts. While Minnesota districts appear to have very low differences in population from each other, and therefore deviate very little from the ideal district size. Once the Census data is adjusted to exclude the incarcerated non-residents from a prison district, however, the resulting deviation from ideal district size is not only greater than Minnesotans have come to expect from their government, it begins to approach constitutional limits of equality. (All data is based on the 2000 Census.)
District Current Representative Census population % deviation from ideal district size of 36,713 Prison population Actual resident population without people in prisons % deviation between actual resident population and ideal district size of 36,713
56A Julie Bunn (DFL) 36,812 0.27% 1,746 35,066 -4.48%
20A Andrew Falk (DFL) 36,641 -0.19% 1,324 35,317 -3.80%
52A Bob Dettmer (R) 36,767 0.15% 1,124 35,643 -2.91%
26B Patti Fritz (DFL) 36,496 -0.59% 1,097 35,399 -3.58%
26A Kory Kath (DFL) 36,780 0.18% 943 35,837 -2.38%
08A Bill Hilty (DFL) 36,721 0.02% 861 35,860 -2.32%
08B Tim Faust (DFL) 36,998 0.78% 847 36,151 -1.53%
30A Tina Liebling (DFL) 36,890 0.48% 839 36,051 -1.80%
15B Larry Haws (DFL) 36,573 -0.38% 800 35,773 -2.56%
06B Mary Murphy (DFL) 36,697 -0.04% 599 36,098 -1.67%
35A Michael Beard (R) 37,025 0.85% 332 36,693 -0.05%
17B Jeremy Kalin (DFL) 36,762 0.13% 252 36,510 -0.55%
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