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Connecticut State Senate Passes Prison Gerrymandering Bill

Matt B

The Connecticut State Senate has passed a bill that would block a controversial method of counting prison inmates for redistricting.

The bill would end so-called prison gerrymandering — that’s when inmates are counted for the census in the voting district where they’re incarcerated, not the place they call home. Claudine Fox is with the ACLU of Connecticut.

“It’s wonderful that folks in the Senate recognize how critical it is to recognize people who are locked up as people, and not just bodies that add to a body count for a district that only helps certain legislators who don’t even want those people in their district anyways,” Fox said.

Republican John Kissel of Enfield cast the only "No" vote. Kissel’s district includes five prisons and nearly half the state’s population of prison inmates.

The bill now goes before the House of Representatives. If it’s signed into law, it will apply to the state’s upcoming redistricting process, which happens once every 10 years.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.