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John Pfaff
1. Every time I write abt prison gerrymandering, find it amazing it is a thing that exists. That we are so blasé about a FIVE-FIFTHS compromise.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
2. In 44 states, prisoners “live” in their prisons for the purpose of the Census but cannot vote: bodies with no electoral power.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
3. Crime is disproportionately concentrated in cities, and those sent to prison are disproportionately POC—and thus disproportionately Dem-leaning.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
4. Yet prisons are increasingly located in more-rural, more conservative communities. Democratic prisoners in Republican counties:
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
5. All across the country, rural legislators are holding onto their seats because of the people in their prisons. See for so many examples.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
6. I mean, look at these counties. Can you identify the prison? (Green = black person, red = Hispanic, blue = whites.) One is NY’s Clinton Prison, the other CA’s notorious Pelican Bay.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
7. The Census Bureau right now is in total disarray, which is hugely problematic for ten thousand reasons. But means it won’t fix this.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
8. The only states to fix this are CA, DE, MD, and NY: deep blue states that passed changes when Dems controlled both chambers and gov.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
9. Even in NY, Senate GOP managed to split a district in half to add a seat bc knew the math: moving counts back to NYC, Buffalo would cause a net GOP loss.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
10. Anyway, prison gerrymandering is one of those non-exciting topics (“Hi, can I talk to you about Census enumeration policies?!” does… not keep ppl’s attention) that is HUGELY critical.
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
11. I was writing about it now, and the deep injustice of it and its seeming intractability meant that I had to vent about it on Twitter, in hopes at least a few more ppl will oppose it.
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Caryn Emmons 10 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
I promise you next time we get together we can talk about prison gerrymandering!
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John Pfaff 10 Dec 17
Replying to @Caryn128
You might come to regret that....
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One Eyed Balt 13 Dec 17
Yeah, I don’t understand ... maybe I was unclear. If Smith lived all over S Chicago before he went to Menard (& assuming Ill. had done something to fix what calls ‘prison gerrymandering’) would he be considered a resident of most recent Chicago address?
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John Pfaff 13 Dec 17
Here’s how NYS does it. DOC identifies last known home address. If no home address or if from out of state, aren’t counted for districting anywhere:
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John Pfaff 13 Dec 17
So shorter answer to your question: yes, that’s likely how Illinois would count him had they fixed this too.
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John West 14 Dec 17
Replying to @JohnFPfaff
44 states - and you mentioned four states that have “fixed this” - what are the other two and how do they handle it?
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John Pfaff 14 Dec 17
Replying to @jpwest
CA, DE, MD and NY are the four. At least in NY, fix is to have DOC determine last known address; if there isn’t one or if from out of state, don’t count in any district:
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John Pfaff 14 Dec 17
Replying to @jpwest
Oh, misunderstood question. Other two are VT and ME, which allow prisoners to vote even when in prison.
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