by New York Times, July 23, 2007

new york times editorial thumbnailPrison-based gerrymandering is especially egregious in New York, where prison inmates — who are denied the right to vote — are routinely counted as “residents” to pad out legislative districts. This practice falsely inflates the political power of districts with prisons, while undercutting districts with larger voting populations.

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Report explains that New York counties violate state constitution by relying on Census data that counts prisoners as residents of the prison location.

July 18, 2007

Contact: Peter Wagner, 413/527-0845

July 18 – The federal Census counts state and federal prisoners as part of the local population, and that creates big problems for county government, charges a new report by the Prison Policy Initiative. The report explains that the Census Bureau wants New York county governments to use its data but counts prisoners as residents of the prison location, which violates the New York State Constitution. Counting prisoners as residents, despite the fact that they can’t vote or participate in the communities where they are incarcerated, leads to unequal distributions of political power.

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