Vigo County apparently did not redistrict its county council in 2011, which is very suprising since the county was successfully sued in 1993 for failing to redistrict!
In that case, Vigo County Republican Central Committee v. Vigo County Commissioners (U.S. District Court, Terre Haute, IN, Oct 1993), a federal judge not only ruled that the Vigo County Commissioners (all of whom were Democrats) had failed in their duty to redistrict, but he also adopted the plaintiff's (the county's Republican party) redistricting plan. In doing so, the judge held that the 10% leeway in population deviation that normally applies to local governments did not apply once litigation was underway.
Vigo County is also of particular interest because of the large federal prison population contained within the city of Terre Haute. According to the 2010 Census, the county housed 3,251 federal prisoners, all of them in a single council district. Counting the prisoners, the population deviation for the county council is 33%. Without the prisoners it is still an unacceptable 24%. Since none of the prisoners can vote and the vast majority are from out-of-state (and of those who are from Indiana, few or none are from Vigo County District 4), it is reasonable to assume that the county council representative for District 4 does not consider them constituents. Indeed, when Terre Haute City Council redistricted in 2012, the city's council members voted unanimously to exclude the prisoners.
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?||Probably not as the maps appear to be the same|
|Is the population deviation of the current districts less than 10%?||No. Not counting federal prisoners, the deviation is 24%. Counting prisoners it is 33% (see note below).|
|Are the current districts compact and contiguous?||Yes|
|Is every precinct wholly contained within a single district?||Yes|
|Other comments:||Vigo County has three federal prisons that held 3251 prisoners in the 2010 Census. All three prisons are part of Vigo County Council District 4. Counting the prisoners, District 4 is the largest district. Without them, it drops to third largest.|
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||28,699|||||District 2||22,548|||||District 3||25,105|||||District 4||
28,227 without prisoners
|Average District Population||26,145/26,958|
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%.