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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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Valencia County, New Mexico

According to the 2000 Census, Valencia County, New Mexico has a population of 66,152 people. Of those, 44,001 (67%) are White, 837 (1%) are Black, and 36,371 (55%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,105 (or 2% of the 66,152 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 Valencia County a population of 65,047 with a demographic that is 66% White, 1% Black, and 55% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 66,152 1,105 65,047
White 44,001 869 43,132
Black 837 120 717
Latino 36,371 634 35,737


[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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