Gerrymandering


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Gerrymandering

 

a term from electoral geography designating a particular way of arranging election districts in the USA. Gerrymandering violates the principle of equal representation, which demands that an equal number of voters be represented by an equal number of representatives. By gerrymandering election districts, the governing party creates districts with an unequal number of voters in order to concentrate the votes of the opposition party in one or at most several districts and thus to obtain an advantage in other districts. Gerrymandering also violates the territorial principle by creating oddly shaped districts.

The term “gerrymandering” arose in 1812, when a cartoonist drew such a district in Massachusetts in the shape of a salamander, and the newspaper editor called the drawing a gerrymander, after E. Gerry, the governor of the state at that time.

Although laws passed in the USA in 1842, 1872, and 1902 demand the creation of compact election districts, gerrymandering still continues.

A. A. MISHIN

References in periodicals archive ?
Although there is a consensus that gerrymandering may violate the Constitution, there is a marked disagreement as to why.
Gerrymandering is common practice across the country; both Democrats and Republicans do it--in both statehouse and congressional districts.
For years, the state has denied targeting voters by race and has admitted instead to practicing partisan gerrymandering by overtly favoring Republicans in drawing the districts.
The Supreme Court had ruled against racial gerrymandering earlier, however it has never before ruled on whether partisan gerrymandering is to be considered unconstitutional.
For this reason, courts should focus not on whether partisan effects of partisan gerrymandering are excessive and go too far, but instead on the centrality of partisan purpose to the specific government decisionmaking in question.
In a recent study, we applied techniques similar to those that have been used to measure political gerrymanders to quantify the severity of gerrymandering of about 24,000 attendance zones from the 2009-10 school year (Richards & Stroub, 2015).
Four years ago, on these pages, Ginsberg wrote, "Stopping gerrymandering is easy.
By applying those tests to all cases of congressional redistricting over the past half-century, we have been able to paint a unified picture of the trends in partisan gerrymandering.
The courts intervene when gerrymandering is driven by race.
50) Gerrymandering is the process of creating electoral districts in a way that provides a self-serving electoral benefit to the political party drawing the lines.
over the War of 1812 and over gerrymandering itself (8) led to increased
Rebutting Ms Randerson's charge that the Government is gerrymandering, he warns people will conclude that opponents to change are "trying try to hang on to the existing system simply because it gives them an inbuilt party political advantage".