Topics: Ethnic group, United States, Minority group Pages: 3 (884 words) Published: February 24, 2014


When I thought of the topic Gerrymandering, I thought perhaps it would be too far-fetched when it came to the Rubric designed in a women studies class. But, on further review of the subject matter I realized how important this practice is to study, and how it can be used for both good and evil concepts in the political scheme of things. Gerrymandering is a form of boundary redistricting, in which the boundaries of an electoral district or constituency are modified for electoral purposes, often producing a contorted or unusual shape. The resulting district is known as a Gerrymander. Gerrymandering is used as a potential way to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular group of constituents, such as political, racial, linguistic, religious or socioeconomic groups. This practice has been around since the 1812 when it first appeared in the Boston Gazette. It was contrived after a cartoon depiction of a redistricting attempt in Massachusetts, when then Governor Elbridge Gerry changed the constituency mapping to favor his Democratic-Republican party over that of the Federalists. This enabled voters loyal to him to control the coming election, so they could pick their voters, not the voters picking him. Gerrymandering types can be boiled down to two types, Packing, and cracking. In the Packing scenario, the idea is to pack as many voters of one type into one single electoral district. This will reduce their influence in the other neighboring districts; however this can also be done to obtain representation for a local community who share common interest, creating a majority-minority district, as in Chicago with Luis Gutierrez. Cracking works with spreading out voters over many districts, to make them ineffective in controlling voting outcomes. Like splitting voters in an urban area among several districts where most of the people are suburban voters. This makes their vote...
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