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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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Cowley County, Kansas

According to the 2000 Census, Cowley County, Kansas has a population of 36,291 people. Of those, 32,708 (89%) are White, 979 (2%) are Black, and 1,304 (3%) are Latino[1]. However, 597 (or 2% of the 36,291 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 Cowley County a population of 35,694 with a demographic that is 91% White, 2% Black, and 4% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 36,291 597 35,694
White 32,708 374 32,334
Black 979 194 785
Latino 1,304 22 1,282


[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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