Prison Gerrymandering In SC?

UNDUE ELECTORAL ADVANTAGES? South Carolina’s prison system is ummm … well … yeah.  And yeah.  And … yeah.  In other words … it’s a mess. But is it also an electoral advantage to nearby residents?  Yes, according to the website Prisoners of the Census. According to Palmetto State law (S.C. Code § 7-1-25),…


South Carolina’s prison system is ummm … well … yeah.  And yeah.  And … yeah.  In other words … it’s a mess.

But is it also an electoral advantage to nearby residents?  Yes, according to the website Prisoners of the Census.

According to Palmetto State law (S.C. Code § 7-1-25), a prison cell cannot be a person’s legal residence.

“A person’s residence is his domicile. ‘Domicile’ means a person’s fixed home where he has an intention of returning when he is absent. A person has only one domicile,” the code states.

But that’s not stopping the U.S. Census Bureau from doling out an electoral advantage regardless … due to a “longstanding flaw” in its counting method.

“When legislators claim people incarcerated in their districts are legitimate constituents, they award people who live close to the prison more of a say in government than everybody else,” the website warned.

To be clear: No one is saying inmates don’t count … just that they should be counted correctly.  And while we’re not going to raise a huge ruckus over this issue, it does seem to be fundamentally unfair (especially when drawing local district boundaries) for prison populations to be counted as part of those districts.


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shifty henry October 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm

How does this reasoning relate to college students at this time?

census hoofer October 29, 2015 at 7:03 pm

I worked the 2010 census and there were a lot of group quarters surveyed that a party probably didn’t deem the place their domicile. You had marinas, the homeless camps, juvenile detention centers, transient motels, local jails, dorms etc. That all said – I would bet 2010 was undercounted since Bachmann, Beck and that whole conspiracy crew decided to demonize the 2010 census. And of course, here in SC a bunch of yahoos believed their nonsense and were hostile and uncooperative. That was the worse part about the job, dealing with those types, even worse than the dopers, drunks and crazies we encountered.

shifty henry October 29, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I did census assignments also, but didn’t have to deal with individuals in group housing of any kind. I did have to deal with some shit work that was corrupted from the previous census.

One was a group nursing home (getting advance info only) that was in existence with a new name started 15 years previously in a hospital that had been vacated when a new hospital was built. The doctor/owner was totally surprised that his location had not been properly accounted for during the previous census. The main hospital building, still empty after 15 years, had been listed as being in existence during the previous census.

I had several more like that. I just couldn’t believe that people could falsify their census reports — fucking little cockroaches got away with it.

Another item was an advance survey on a rural home for mental patients. The facility was located on a dead-end road surrounded by working farms. I was told that a woman had been there the day before but was confused. OK, our group leader and I followed the woman the following day to see what the problem was. The woman went 25 miles out of the way to get there but I had previously told her that was not the direct route to take. The bitch/cunt/man hating group leader told me I was wrong.

After we got there to straighten it out we looked at the woman’s map —- it was fucking printed backwards and upside down! The bitch/cunt told me to shut up about it – she was going to use the woman’s mess because it would be too much trouble to correct and report everything!

The census was a shitty, shoddy piece of work. There were some excellent folks working it but I ran into some higher-up assholes. If I have the opportunity to work the next census I’ll try to get a position where that sort of work doesn’t get by (wishful thinking?) and I’ll be a real ass-kicker if those shitty workers get in again. (sorry for the rant — is now over)

CorruptionInColumbia October 29, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Hell, I didn’t get counted in 2010. No form in the mail, as in 2000, and no visitors.

shifty henry October 29, 2015 at 9:36 pm

The principal address list is from the Post Office Zip Codes, with the 4 digit extender, so even if you relocated you should have been contacted. I think that if the form isn’t returned by a certain time the worker makes a house call up to 3 times and then some other follow-up occurs. Your home was entered into the GPS system which was given to your local emergency services. They stand in front of your door as close as they can get. As I’m thinking right now, if “CorruptioninColumbia” was on your mailbox that might have intimidated them.
They also had SPECIAL CENSUS SWAT teams to either accompany workers in dangerous areas, or they did it themselves. An example: one county sheriff told me that in his county the deputies will only enter certain areas under a 911 call — it’s too dangerous to do routing patrol or cruising. Interesting, huh?

CorruptionInColumbia October 29, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Wow Henry, that last part was kind of weird! I didn’t know that.

shifty henry October 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

The census workers going door-to-door for the most part worked alone. Think about females from young to old in areas such as remote rural areas where they may be after dark, or where meth houses are in densely wooded areas. Think about your wife or daughter being alone in certain areas you know could be dangerous. Find someone you know who worked the census and is knowledgeable about the door-to-door part of it.

census hooker October 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm

You could have always taken a different job if you found it difficult.

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Centrist View October 29, 2015 at 5:35 pm

PBG@work in SC.

Fixing prison-based gerrymandering after the 2010 Census: South Carolina

Richland County’s 7th County Council district, drawn after the 2000 Census, reached its required population of 29,152 by including almost 5,000 people incarcerated in state and county correctional facilities as if they were residents of the district. Padding the district in this way gave every group of 92 residents in the district as much influence over county affairs as 100 residents in other districts.

The counties of Allendale, Edgefield, Lancaster, Lee, Marlboro, and McCormick all avoided prison-based gerrymandering by excluding the prison population prior to drawing the county legislative districts after the 2000 Census.

More research needs to be done, especially in Clarendon county because these counties contain large prisons relative to their actual population, and in Williamsburg County which had a new federal prison built during the last decade. Unless the prison populations were removed from the redistricting base after the last Census, these communities may have one or more districts that are significantly padded with non-resident prison populations

tomstickler October 30, 2015 at 12:05 pm

FitsNews has missed the plot in this instance. The point of “prison gerrymandering” is to create a district that can easily elect a representative because a significant number of “constituents” cannot vote by law.

So you find a nice little deep-red neighborhood that happens to be near a big prison to serve as a guaranteed safe district for some local yokel who vote as he is told. It is not about giving an unfair advantage to the remaining legal voters who will probably just push the straight ticket button anyway, cause they have more pressing business at the lottery counter down to the Kangaroo.


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