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Exact numbers on prison rule change not yet clear

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Population numbers in upstate legislative districts probably won’t change much after Democrats and Republicans struck a deal on where to count prisoners for redistricting.

The Democratic-controlled Assembly and Republican-controlled Senate agreed on a deal to count 46,000 of the state’s 58,000 prisoners at their last known address, rather than the prison in which they reside, the Associated Press reported last week.

Twelve thousand will not be counted at all, an increase from the 3,000 that originally were to be disqualified when the Assembly first crunched the numbers.

Also, Republicans still are planning to forge ahead with an appeal of a lawsuit that sought to overturn a 2010 law that changed residency rules.

What would the new deal mean for each upstate legislator? The two sides don’t know. A district-by-district analysis was not available.

“The announcement yesterday was just that a total number had been achieved after going through a long process,” Mark Hansen, a Senate GOP spokesman, said Friday in an email. “They have not actually been entered into the database yet.”

But the extra prisoners who were expunged from the rolls probably won’t change the figures much, or at all, for north country legislators. The residents they lost to downstate already were gone, whether they were counted in New York City or not counted at all. It is, however, likely to mitigate some of the gains that Democratic-friendly areas received from the previous count.

The Assembly previously said that north country legislators would lose the following numbers of residents because of the change to the law:

■ Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa: 1,872.

■ Assemblyman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River: 1,481.

■ State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome: 1,842.

■ Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton: 3,231.

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