Gerrymandering () is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries, which is most commonly used in first-past-the-post electoral systems. Two principal tactics are used in gerrymandering: "cracking" (i.e. diluting the voting power of the opposing party's supporters across many districts) and "packing" (concentrating the opposing party's voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts). The top-left diagram in the graphic is a form of cracking where the majority party uses its superior numbers to guarantee the minority party never attains a majority in any district. In addition to its use achieving desired electoral results for a particular party, gerrymandering may be used to help or hinder a particular demographic, such as a political, ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, or class group, such as in Northern Ireland where boundaries were constructed to guarantee Protestant Unionist majorities. Gerrymandering can also be used to protect incumbents. Wayne Dawkins describes it as politicians picking their voters instead of voters picking their politicians; Thomas Hofeller, the Redistricting Chair of the Republican National Committee, stated "Redistricting is like an election in reverse. It's a great event. Usually the voters get to pick the politicians. In redistricting, the politicians get to pick the voters." in reference to the 2000 Census.The term gerrymandering is named after American politician Elbridge Gerry (pronounced with a hard "g"; "Gherry", Vice President of the United States at the time of his death, who, as Governor of Massachusetts in 1812, signed a bill that created a partisan district in the Boston area that was compared to the shape of a mythological salamander. The term has negative connotations and gerrymandering is almost always considered a corruption of the democratic process. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander (). The word is also a verb for the process.
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Gerrymandering. (2021). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gerrymandering&oldid=1009681363
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