Some elected officials in Lawrence are urging the Legislature to change a rule that dilutes the city’s population count. Kansas is the only state that amends the U-S census figures. The amended figure is used when lawmaker redraw legislative districts. The constitutional requirement changes the Lawrence population number by counting students at their home address, rather than the city where they attend college. In Lawrence, the adjustment caused the city's census count to fall by 12,000 residents. Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew wants students in the city counted in the Lawrence population.
Opponents of the rule say the students use services in Lawrence, but then aren’t counted in the city’s population. Supporters say it helps rural communities by adding to their census figures.