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Prison gerrymandering suit tossed

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A state Supreme Court judge today tossed a lawsuit brought by several north country elected officials that challenged a state law on counting prisoners.
The 2010 law counts prisoners at their last known address, rather than the correctional facility in which they reside. Republicans argued that it was a power play by Democrats to deplete rural, upstate districts that are home to prisons of residents.
Democrats, on the other hand, said that it was only fair to count prisoners as residents of their home district. Judge Eugene Devine agreed.
Senate Republicans who brought the suit included Sens. Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo. Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson and Jefferson County Legislator Bobby Ferris were also plaintiffs.
The decision means that Mrs. Ritchie's and Mr. Griffo's already large districts will have to get even bigger to meet constitutionally-required population minimums.
The plaintiffs will probably appeal the decision to a higher court.

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