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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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Marion County, Oregon

According to the 2000 Census, Marion County, Oregon has a population of 284,834 people. Of those, 232,469 (82%) are White, 2,539 (1%) are Black, and 48,714 (17%) are Latino[1]. However, 4,426 (or 2% of the 284,834 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 Marion County a population of 280,408 with a demographic that is 82% White, 1% Black, and 17% Latino.

Reported in
Census 2000
Total 284,834 4,426 280,408
White 232,469 3,171 229,298
Black 2,539 452 2,087
Latino 48,714 598 48,116


[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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