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Civil Rights groups want in on prison gerrymandering suit

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The State of New York filed a very perfunctory rebuttal to the Senate GOP’s legal challenge to “prison gerrymandering,” and now a group of outside organizations — including the NAACP, Common Cause and VOCAL-NY — wants to intervene on the state’s behalf.

From a court filing yesterday:

          “The proposed intervenors are voters and organizations that represent voters whose voting rights would be diluted if the challenged statute were invalidated. They include individual voters residing in urban downstate communities as well as upstate communities who would be harmed by assigning the incarcerated population to prison districts for purposes of redistricting…”

“Persons incarcerated in correctional institutions do not participate in the life of the town or county where they are incarcerated,” said Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference. “Sen. Little and her co-plaintiffs are seeking to reverse one of New York’s most important civil rights advances in the previous decade, which would unfairly dilute the voting rights of New Yorkers in every corner of the state.”

Click here to read the full article.