The Census Bureau submitted a proposal to continue counting incarcerated people at the particular facility that they happen to be located at on Census Day. If made final, this proposal will mean another decade of decisions in many states based on a Census that counts incarcerated people in the wrong place.
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, the Law Center and its partners at White and Williams LLP filed public comments about this proposal.
We believe that the Bureau’s proposal will jeopardize the right of certain groups to equal participation in our democracy, and will promote distortion of districts for local, state, and federal elections. We also believe that the Bureau’s proposal is inconsistent with Pennsylvania laws relating to redistricting and to voting by people incarcerated for misdemeanors or while awaiting trial.
Click here to read our full public comment, which includes why an incarcerated person’s “usual residence” is not his cell, and why counting inmates as residents of their cells promotes illegal gerrymandering.