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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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Burke County, North Carolina

According to the 2000 Census, Burke County, North Carolina has a population of 89,148 people. Of those, 76,678 (85%) are White, 5,984 (6%) are Black, and 3,180 (3%) are Latino[1]. However, 1,485 (or 2% of the 89,148 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 Burke County a population of 87,663 with a demographic that is 87% White, 6% Black, and 4% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 89,148 1,485 87,663
White 76,678 448 76,230
Black 5,984 979 5,005
Latino 3,180 40 3,140


[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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