StoutDemBlog

Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

ONE MORE ELECTORAL SCAM: Several years ago, I compared the population figures in each of our county's precincts with the voter registration, looking for places where there was the greatest opportunity for adding new Democrats to the rolls. One precinct stood out for having an extremely large block of unregistered voting-age people. I was delighted -- until I looked at the map and discovered it was the site of the county jail. That glitch in the stats shows up across the country. The Boston Globe recently did a fascinating article about how the census counts of the incarcerated distorts redistricting and government policy. Read it at "Head Count".
The Census counts prisoners as residents of the towns where they're incarcerated. One crusading lawyer from Northampton thinks this little clerical matter is a big problem for American democracy. ...

The weight of the prison population strengthens the very districts and legislators with the most stake in tough-on-crime policies that create and fill more prisons -- figures like Dale Volker (a favorite target of Wagner's), the Republican state senator from New York's 59th district who has helped stymie popular efforts to reform New York's stringent Rockefeller drug laws.

1 Comments:

  • At 5:12 PM, Blogger Louise said…

    You want real problems with apportionment? Take a look at the numbers of "residents with unlawful status" - also known as "illegal aliens" or "undocumented workers", depending on your beliefs. These residents are counted in the census and used to determine the number of Representatives a state gets. But they can't vote and they have no legal standing.

    Sort of like the 3/5ths rule, but actually 5/5ths.


    And the big gainers? Southern states, and especially Texas.

    Makes you wonder why the Repubs seem so sanguine about illegal border crossings.....

     

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