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S. 3481 (116th): Correct the Census Count Act

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About the bill

The Census is due by April 1.


Under current law, prisoners are counted for the Census as residing wherever their jail is, rather than where they’re originally from — even if their jail is out of state. This politically benefits any districts or communities which just happen to have a prison.

It particularly benefits the voting-eligible residents of such communities, because the prisoners themselves increase the official population yet can’t vote themselves. For example, there’s a city council ward in Iowa where the official “population” is 96% prisoners. This in turn gives the remaining 4% of the population who can actually vote huge voting power per-person.

Though not always, this frequently benefits the often-white residents of towns with prisons, while frequently harming African-American and Hispanic demographics which ...

Sponsor and status

Jeff Merkley

Sponsor. Senator for Oregon. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Length: 2 pages
Mar 12, 2020
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on March 12, 2020, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.


5 Cosponsors (5 Democrats)



Mar 12, 2020

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S. 3481 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 3481. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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“S. 3481 — 116th Congress: Correct the Census Count Act.” 2020. June 19, 2021 <>

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