Gerrymandering Explained #gerrymandering

Gerrymandering Explained #gerrymandering

gerrymandering gerrymandered is how it should be pronounced some people say jerry but it was gary ger ry in simple terms this is the process of giving one political party advantage over another political party by redrawing district lines these political district lines are drawn by the state legislature in approved by the governor rewinding a little bit back 1812 in massachusetts Elbridge Gerry was governor of Massachusetts and he supported and signed a bill to support districting thereby redrawing boundaries that separate districts the result was the new district lines would favor Gerry's own political party Jerry wanted his party to wing as many seats as possible the practice wasn't new at that time but a map in the Boston Gazette newspaper gave it a name that stuck the map was so strange-looking that someone said it looked like a salamander the Boston Gazette edit Jerry's name for the word salamander and we got gerrymander so how exactly does someone go about protecting their own political party and actually gerrymandering a district let's take this tiny rectangular state and suppose they're exactly 50 people in this state 60% of the people always vote for the blue party and 40% always vote for the red party and this state is split into five districts ideally you would want to divide the district like this therefore the state would be represented by three people from the blue party and two people from the red and this matches up with a sixty to forty percent composition of the state but what if the state has been gerrymandered if we draw the lines in this way we could favor the blue party and the blue wins every seat even though 40% of the residents voted for the red what if the red are controlling the state government and they redraw the district lines like this thereby getting three red seats and two blue seats despite the fact that well over half of the population is blue why you both parties of gerrymander it has mostly helped Republicans in Pennsylvania for example 44% of the voters chose Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives in 2014 but the 18 of the 18 districts are represented by Republicans in Ohio about 40 percent of the voters chose Democratic candidates for the House of Representative but 12 of the 18 seats are represented by Republicans the bottom line is if districts are manipulated to be drawn in a manner that promotes self interests of legislators while ignoring the interests of citizens the citizens voice will not matter and their voice will not count moving forward most people think gerrymandering is responsible for political polarization but that may not be the case recent studies on the drivers of polarization suggests gerrymandering might not play as big a role as popularly imagined in fact the demographic phenomenon of self thought that is liberals preferring to live alongside other liberals and conservatives with other conservatives appear to be much a bigger factor as of now eight states have independent redistricting Commission's to prevent gerrymandering in each of these states the Commission's were responsible for both congregational and state legislative redistricting supporters of these Commission's believe that allowing elected state legislators to draw voting maps least legislators drug maps in their favor rather than in the favor of voters opponents of independent redistricting commissions argue that these Commission's are unconstitutional because the US Constitution vests the power of redistricting to state legislators you

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