gerrymandering

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The Strange Geometry of Gerrymandering (redistricting’s dark side)

Includes: article; animation

A political cartoon from 1812 criticizing Massachusetts state senate electoral districts drawn by the legislature to favor candidates in Governor Elbridge Gerry's party. (Wikimedia Commons)

When lawmakers control the redistricting process – as they do in most states –  self-interest inevitably plays a big role in how electoral maps are redrawn. It puts the power in the hands of incumbent legislators eager to squash political competition. A Republican lawmaker would likely want to redraw his own district to include as many Republican voters as possible; and vice-verse for a Dem. Continue reading