Example Of Gerrymandering

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“The Democrats are under-represented by about 18 seats in the House, relative to their vote share in the 2012 election”, states the Washington Post. How is this possible the one political party can be so underrepresented when we are told that every voice is equally represented in the House of Representatives? In comes the term gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is as old as Democracy is here in the United States. It dates back to our founding fathers. What is gerrymandering and how does it affect the political system in the United States? The term gerrymander was conceived in 1812, when Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts started redistricting congressional districts based on changes of population. The governor made the boundaries so that …show more content…
Cracking also known as the wasted vote method is the splitting up of a large minority demographic so that their voters are spread into several districts, turning them into the minority of the districts. For example, one year a predominantly black neighborhood is represented by as one district, then they are split between two districts, reducing their block vote into a small minority in each district rather than being a full majority in one. If the block wasn’t split the majority would have a high chance of losing a seat and they do not want that to happen. Packing also known as the excess voting method happens when voters who vote similarly are all placed within the same district. This tends to happen when there are more opposing views and if left separated would cause the majority to lose their seats. According to the NPR in 2010 Alabama packed one district to favor the majority, “It was a majority-black district that was underpopulated. To fix that, the Republican redistricting plan moved out white residents who had lived in the district for years, and moved in 16,000 new voters, all but 36 of whom were black. The result was that the district became 75 percent black and the neighboring district similarly more white.” This guarantees that the majority black district will win but then all the other districts are majority white still giving the …show more content…
Democrats and Republicans are all fighting for seats in the House of Representatives. Out of the 435 seats available Democrats hold 188 and Republicans hold 247. Republicans have been able to retain more safe seats in the House even when they lose the congressional vote. For example in 2010, “Across the country, Democratic House candidates won 50.6% of the votes and took just 46.2% of the seats, thanks largely to cleverly drawn districts,” according to the Economist. This is possible because forty-four states allow their legislators to make up the boundaries of the districts. Many seats in the House are held by Republicans, they are the ones in charge of redistricting, although they do not win all the votes they are able to keep themselves in office by redistricting in their favor. Many states are guilt of gerrymandering some worse than others. Maryland and North Carolina are some of the worst offenders, with Indiana and Nevada being the least gerrymandered. Six states have tried to make redistricting even and have independent commissions to redistrict for them. Those six states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, California, Montana and

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