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State Rep. Wants to Change How Inmates Are Counted in Census

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Kentucky State Representative  Darryl Owens wants to change how prisoners are counted in census data.

Currently, inmates are counted as residents of the county they're imprisoned in. But Owens wants inmates to be listed as residents at their last home address.

Owens says the current method inflates the populations of rural areas where prisons are and skews federal funding and redistricting.

And with a new push to restore felons' voting rights, Owens says its important inmates are counted correctly.

"Bottom line if they are in prison there is a process by which voting rights are returned to them. So it?'s not only about voting rights, it'?s also about other programs that the government has where people are an important part of the formula.?

Owens says his bill would not change data from the 2010 census, but would be in effect for 2020.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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