ACLU Challenges Use of Prisoners in District Map Drawing

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Posted at 4:04 AM, Mar 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-10 00:16:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is challenging a small Florida county's use of prisoners in the drawing of its political districts.

The civil rights group on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Tallahassee, alleging that Jefferson County's 2013 districting plan amounted to "prison gerrymandering."

The lawsuit alleges that by counting the more than 1,100 inmates at the Jefferson Correctional Institution as residents for redistricting purposes, Jefferson County watered down the voting strength of other districts.

The lawsuit also says that under the maps for county commission and school board, prisoners make up more than 40 percent of the population in the county's District 3, giving that district an unfair advantage compared to the county's four other districts.

Convicted felons lose their voting rights in Florida.