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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:19 AM

*WHY* do we allow prisoners to count as constituents if they can't vote and can't choose to be there

This artificially inflates the GOP's numbers because the prisons are largely in GOP districts.

This is wrong, and it makes the GOP think it has more clout than it does.

It makes me feel "tin foil hatty" for things like "mandatory minimum sentences" and shit.

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Reply *WHY* do we allow prisoners to count as constituents if they can't vote and can't choose to be there (Original post)
LaydeeBug Nov 2012 OP
PoliticAverse Nov 2012 #1
LaydeeBug Nov 2012 #4
caveat_imperator Nov 2012 #2
LaydeeBug Nov 2012 #5
onenote Nov 2012 #3
onenote Nov 2012 #6
yurbud Nov 2012 #7

Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:23 AM

1. Children can't vote and don't choose where they live do they count as constituents ?

You don't need to have a tin foil hat to see the conflicts inherent in the prison industry complex though.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:05 AM

4. Prisoners are of voting age, children are not...

In order for this to be even close to fair, there'd have to be a prison in every congressional district with prportional representation.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:25 AM

2. It sounds like the same set up the South had in before the Civil War.

But instead today's prisoners are counted as a whole person of 2/3rds of one.

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Response to caveat_imperator (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:05 AM

5. exactly. It's just hinky.

and it inflates the GOP's numbers.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:51 AM

3. I didn't realize that most prisons are in GOP districts

I suppose it makes sense insofar as most prisons are in rural areas, but does anyone have any actual statistics on this?

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:12 AM

6. Having looked a little closer, the impact likely is miniscule

There are over 2 million adults incarcerated in the US, but the largest correectional facilities in the country have between 3000 and 5000 prisoners. Most jails and prisons are much smaller. The average Congressional District has between 500,000 and 750,000 residents, I believe. Which means that even where the largest prisons are located, the prison population probably doesn't represent even 1 percent of the "constituents". Also, one of the very largest prison facilities in the US is the Pelican Bay Penitentiary in Crescent City California, which is in a safe Democratic district.

In short, this appears to be much ado about nothing. You can safely remove your tin foil hat.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:15 AM

7. for the same reason that slaves were allowed to count as partial people for House apportionment

so assholes could have more power in Congress.

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