The McAlester Ward Commission met Thursday evening to discuss and vote on whether or not to include the prison population.
To begin the discussion, City Attorney Joe Ervin gave a legal opinion on the inclusion of inmates.
“The (city) charter provision only refers to population and whatever the prisoners are they are people,” said Joe Ervin. “They have to be counted.”
New commission member Gaylord Brooks took a different approach to the law.
“That’s the letter of the law, but now lets look at the intent of the law, which is to count voters,” Brooks said.
At the end of the meeting the board voted 6-1 to include the prison population in the city’s redistricting process. Brooks was the dissenting vote.
Contact Wes Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on this story, see Friday’s print edition of the McAlester News-Capital.