Nine NY Senators Sue over Prisoner Count
By Nathan Brown
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
April 8, 2011
Betty Little and eight other Republican state senators have launched a lawsuit challenging a law that counts state prison inmates at their former addresses rather than where they are locked up.
The lawsuit, which was filed in state Supreme Court in Albany County Monday, alleges the law "exacerbates vote dilution of certain communities and enhances the voting power of other communities by the fictitious movement of a phantom population of almost 58,000 non-voting prisoners into residences already occupied by others, and from upstate Republican districts to downstate New York City Democratic districts which constitutes political gerrymandering."
The change, favored by many downstate Democratic legislators, was attached to a budget bill that passed last August. It requires the state Department of Correctional Services to provide last known addresses, to be used for state-level redistricting purposes, to the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, or LATFOR.