LaPorte County has two large state prisons with a total of 5,411 prisoners. Both prisons are, according to the county clerk, in County Council District 3. If the prisoners are not counted, then the population deviation for the county council is 30%. If they are counted, it is a whopping 44%. Either way, LaPorte needs to redistrict.
County Redistricting Overview
State law and state and federal court decisions require that local government districts be compact, contiguous, not cross precint boundaries, and be as nearly equal in population as possible (usually with population deviation of less than 10%). To be in compliance, answers to each of the questions below should be "Yes".
Note: Other requirements regarding vote dilution and minority representation are not examined in this report.
|Were the districts based on the 2000 census in compliance with state law?||Unknown|
|Did the county redistrict after the 2010 census?||Yes|
|Is the population deviation of the current districts less than 10%?||No. It is 30%. [see note below]|
|Are the current districts compact and contiguous?||Yes, they are probably acceptable despite some jagged pieces.|
|Is every precinct wholly contained within a single district?||Yes|
|Other comments:||LaPorte County contains two large prisons, Michigan City and Westville, both of which are (according to the clerk's office) in District 3. The 2010 census counted 5,411 prisoners at the two prisons, all of whom are disenfranchised. State and local governments can elect to ignore prison populations during redistricting since prisoners are not local residents and cannot vote in local elections As District 3 is the largest of the four districts, with 4,347 more people than the next largest district, the county seems to have taken the large prison populations into account when redistricting. With the prisoners removed, District 3 is no longer the largest and the population deviation is only 30%. If LaPorte were to count the prisoners, then the population deviation wold be 44%.|
2010 Census Data
In 2012, we were able to determine exact populations for each county council district by identifying which precincts (as drawn in 2011 by each county) were in which county council district. We were able to calculate precinct populations using the 2010 census as long as precincts contained whole census blocks, which they are supposed to do.
|District 1||20809|||||District 2||28841|||||District 3||33188|||||District 4||28629|
|Average District Population||27,866.8|
Population deviation is calculated by subtracting the smallest district from the largest district and dividing by the average district population. The maximum allowable deviation for local governments is 10%.