When Maryland prisoners are counted in the 2010 U.S. Census, they won’t be counted in the district they’re imprisoned in. Instead, they’ll be counted in their hometowns.
What's the big deal? Well, according to the Washington Post, Maryland will become the first state in the country to redraw districts by counting prisoners in their hometowns. Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the “No Representation Without Population Act” on Tuesday.
The hope is that the change will help Baltimore avoid losing political power.
Lawmakers from rural areas with prison facilities are opposed to the idea. They’re worried it could cost them federal funds down the road, according to the Post.
Baltimore would benefit the most from the move. Sixty-eight percent of the state’s 25,000 prisoners were living there before being convicted.
Census numbers are used to determine how many congressional seats a state has.