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New York State district map, nysenate.gov

New districts won't change prisoner count, task force says

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Leaders of a legislative task force on redistricting say they won't be able to count state prison inmates as residing in their home districts, because of an ongoing lawsuit.

Karen DeWitt has more from Albany:

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Reported by

Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent

Last year, the legislature and governor approved a plan to count prison inmates as residing in their home cities, instead of counting them as part of the population in the districts where they are incarcerated. The change would help boost populations for Democrats in New York City, at the expense of upstate Senate Republicans, who have included prisoners to boost dwindling populations in their districts. The prisoners are not allowed to vote.

The leaders of a legislative task force on redistricting say they will still count the inmates as residing where they are imprisoned because of a lawsuit, brought by the Senate GOP, challenging the changes. Assemblyman Jack McEneny is co-chair of the task force.

“We would be drawing a plan which would not include them,” said McEneny.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo renewed his threat to veto the lines drawn by the task force, saying they will not be constructed by an independent and nonpartisan body. 

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