gerrymander(redirected from Jerrymandering)
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gerrymander(jĕr`ēmăn'dər, gĕr–), in politics, rearrangement of voting districts so as to favor the party in power. The objective is to create as many districts as possible in areas of known support and to concentrate the opposition's strength into as few districts as possible. Extremely irregular boundary lines are sometimes necessary to obtain the results desired. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, has placed (1964) the vague limit of "compact districts of contiguous territory" on such apportionment schemes. The origin of the term, though by no means the origin of the practice, was in such an arrangement made by the Massachusetts Jeffersonians when Elbridge GerryGerry, Elbridge
, 1744–1814, American statesman, Vice President of the United States, b. Marblehead, Mass. He was elected (1772) to the Massachusetts General Court, where he became a follower of Samuel Adams, who enlisted him in the colonial activities preceding the
..... Click the link for more information. was governor.
See E. C. Griffith, The Rise and Development of the Gerrymander (1907, repr. 1974).
political chicanery aimed at acquiring votes. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 199]