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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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Branch County, Michigan

According to the 2000 Census, Branch County, Michigan has a population of 45,787 people. Of those, 42,751 (93%) are White, 1,206 (2%) are Black, and 1,365 (2%) are Latino[1]. However, 2,377 (or 5% of the 45,787 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 Branch County a population of 43,410 with a demographic that is 96% White, 0% Black, and 3% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 45,787 2,377 43,410
White 42,751 1,222 41,529
Black 1,206 1,016 190
Latino 1,365 98 1,267


[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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