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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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Lee County, Iowa

According to the 2000 Census, Lee County, Iowa has a population of 38,052 people. Of those, 35,862 (92%) are White, 1,066 (3%) are Black, and 902 (2%) are Latino[1]. However, 942 (or 2% of the 38,052 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 Lee County a population of 37,110 with a demographic that is 95% White, 2% Black, and 2% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 38,052 942 37,110
White 35,862 582 35,280
Black 1,066 295 771
Latino 902 40 862


[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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