Gerrymandering


Gerrymandering

In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander (/ˈɛriˌmændər/); however, that word can also refer to the process.

Gerrymandering may be used to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular demographic, such as a political, racial, linguistic, religious or class group.

When used to allege that a given party is gaining disproportionate power, the term gerrymandering has negative connotations. However, a gerrymander may also be used for purposes that some perceive as positive, such as in US federal voting district boundaries that produce a majority of constituents representative of African-American or other racial minorities (these are thus called "minority-majority districts").

Contents

Difference from malapportionment

Gerrymandering should not be confused with malapportionment, whereby the number of eligible voters per elected representative can vary widely without relation to how the boundaries are drawn. Nevertheless the ~mander suffix has been applied to particular malapportionments, such as the "Playmander" in South Australia and the "Bjelkemander" in Queensland. Sometimes political representatives use both gerrymandering and malapportionment to try to maintain power.

Etymology

First printed in March 1812, this political cartoon was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists. The caricature satirises the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon. Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry's last name.

The word gerrymander (originally written Gerry-mander) was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette newspaper on March 26, 1812. The word was created in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then governor Elbridge Gerry (pronounced /ˈɡɛri/; 1744–1814). In 1812, Governor Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander. The exact author of the term gerrymander may never be definitively established. It is widely believed by historians that Federalist newspaper editors Nathan Hale, Benjamin and John Russell were the instigators, but the historical record gives no definitive evidence as to who created or uttered the word for the first time.[1] The term was a portmanteau of the governor's last name and the word salamander.

Appearing with the term, and helping to spread and sustain its popularity, was a political cartoon depicting a strange animal with claws, wings and a dragon-like head satirising the map of the odd-shaped district. This cartoon was most likely drawn by Elkanah Tisdale, an early 19th century painter, designer, and engraver who was living in Boston at the time.[2]

In addition, Tisdale also had the engraving skills to cut the woodblocks that printed the original cartoon.[3] These woodblocks survive and are preserved in the Library of Congress.[4] The word gerrymander was reprinted numerous times in Federalist newspapers in Massachusetts, New England, and nationwide during the remainder of 1812.[5] This suggests some organised activity of the Federalists to disparage Governor Gerry in particular and the growing Democratic-Republican party in general. Gerrymandering soon began to be used to describe not only the original Massachusetts example but also other cases of district-shape manipulation for partisan gain in other states. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, institutionalisation of the word became complete with its first appearance in a dictionary (1848) and first appearance in an encyclopedia (1868).[6]

Although the letter g of the eponymous Gerry is pronounced /ɡ/ as in go, the word gerrymander is most commonly pronounced /ˈdʒɛrimændər/, with a /dʒ/ as in gentle.

Voting systems

Gerrymandering is used most often in favor of ruling incumbents[7] or a specific political party. Societies whose legislatures use a single-winner voting system are the most likely to have political parties that gerrymander for advantage.[citation needed] Most notably, gerrymandering is particularly effective in non-proportional systems that tend towards fewer parties, such as first past the post.

Most democracies have partly proportional electoral systems, where several political parties are proportionally represented in the national parliaments, in proportion to the total numbers of votes of the parties in the regional or national elections. In these more or less proportional representation systems, gerrymandering has little or less significance.

Some countries, such as the UK and Canada, authorize non-partisan organizations to set constituency boundaries in an attempt to prevent gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is most common in countries where elected politicians are responsible for defining constituency boundaries. They have obvious self interest in determining boundaries to their and their party's interest.

Packing and cracking

The two aims of gerrymandering are to maximize the effect of supporters' votes and to minimize the effect of opponents' votes. One strategy, packing, is to concentrate as many voters of one type into a single electoral district to reduce their influence in other districts. In some cases this may be done to obtain representation for a community of common interest, rather than to dilute that interest over several districts to a point of ineffectiveness. A second strategy, cracking, involves spreading out voters of a particular type among many districts in order to deny them a sufficiently large voting bloc in any particular district. The strategies are typically combined, creating a few "forfeit" seats for packed voters of one type in order to secure even greater representation for voters of another type.

Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect. By packing opposition voters into districts they will already win (increasing excess votes for winners) and by cracking the remainder among districts where they are moved into the minority (increasing votes for eventual losers), the number of wasted votes among the opposition can be maximized. Similarly, with supporters holding narrow margins in the unpacked districts, the number of wasted votes among supporters is minimized.

While the wasted vote effect is strongest when a party wins by narrow margins across multiple districts, gerrymandering narrow margins can be risky when voters are less predictable. To minimize the risk of demographic or political shifts swinging a district to the opposition, politicians can instead create more packed districts, leading to more comfortable margins in unpacked ones.

Examples of gerrymandered districts
North Carolina's 12th congressional district An example of packing. The district is predominantly African-American and liberal.  
Designed to provide for a safe seat for the Democratic Representative, California's 23rd congressional district, is confined to a narrow strip of coast, an example of the packing style of districting.  
An example of "cracking" style of gerrymandering. The urban (and mostly liberal) concentration of Columbus, Ohio, located at the center of the map in Franklin County, is split into thirds, each segment then attached to—and outnumbered by—largely conservative suburbs.  
California's 11th congressional district drawn to favor its then-Republican incumbent.  
Bi-partisan incumbent gerrymandering produced California District 38, home to Grace Napolitano, a Democrat, who ran unopposed in 2004.  
Texas' controversial 2003 partisan gerrymander produced Texas District 22 for former Rep. Tom DeLay, a Republican.  
The odd shapes of California Senate districts in Southern California (2008) have led to claims of gerrymandering.  
The earmuff shape of Illinois's 4th congressional district packs two Hispanic areas while remaining contiguous by narrowly tracing Interstate 294.  
Utah's 2nd congressional district was redrawn after the election of Democrat Jim Matheson in 2000 to favor future Republican majorities. The predominantly Democratic city of Salt Lake was connected to predominantly Republican eastern and southern Utah through a thin sliver of land running through Utah County. This particular redistricting did not have the desired effect, as Matheson is still in office. In 2011, the gerrymandering continued. Each of the new congressional districts combined conservative rural areas with more urban areas to further dilute Democratic votes.  
Another example of Illinois gerrymandering is the 17th congressional district in the western portion of the state. Notice how the major urban centers are anchored and how Decatur is nearly isolated from the primary district.  

Effects of gerrymandering

How Gerrymandering can influence electoral results on a non-proportional system.
Example for a state with 3 equally sized districts, 15 voters and 2 parties: Plum (squares) and Orange (circles).

In (a), creating 3 mixed-type districts yields a 3–0 win to Plum — a disproportional result considering the state-wide 9:6 Plum majority.

In (b), Orange wins the urban district while Plum wins the rural districts — the 2-1 result reflects the state-wide vote ratio.

In (c), gerrymandering techniques ensure a 2-1 win to the state-wide minority Orange party.

Reduction in electoral competition and voter turnout

The most immediate and obvious effect of gerrymandering is that elections become less competitive in all districts, particularly packed ones. As electoral margins of victory become significantly greater and politicians have safe seats, the incentive for meaningful campaigning is reduced.

As the chance of influencing electoral results by voting is reduced, voter turnout is likely to decrease. Correspondingly, political campaigns are less likely to expend resources to encourage turnout. With a reduction in competition, a candidate puts more effort into securing party nomination for a given district rather than gaining approval of the general electorate. In an effectively gerrymandered district, the candidate is virtually assured of a win once nominated. In 2004, for example, when California's 3rd congressional district became an open seat after Republican Congressman Doug Ose ran for higher office, the state's three strongest Republican congressional candidates campaigned vigorously against one another for nomination in the district's primary election. Several other districts were uncontested, with no Republican nominees making even a token campaign effort.

Increased incumbent advantage and campaign costs

The effect of gerrymandering for incumbents is particularly advantageous, as incumbents are far more likely to be reelected under conditions of gerrymandering. For example, in 2002, according to political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, only four challengers were able to defeat incumbent members of the US Congress, the lowest number in modern American history.[8] Incumbents are likely to be of the majority party orchestrating a gerrymander, and incumbents are usually easily renominated in subsequent elections, including incumbents among the minority.

This demonstrates that gerrymandering can have a deleterious effect on the principle of democratic accountability. With uncompetitive seats/districts reducing the fear that incumbent politicians may lose office, they have less incentive to represent the interests of their constituents, even when those interests conform to majority support for an issue across the electorate as a whole. Incumbent politicians may look out more for their party's interests than for those of their constituents.

Gerrymandering can have an impact on campaign costs for district elections. If districts become increasingly stretched out, candidates must pay increased costs for transportation and trying to develop and present campaign advertising across a district.[citation needed] The incumbent's advantage in securing campaign funds is another benefit of his or her having a gerrymandered secure seat.

Less descriptive representation

Gerrymandering also has significant effects on the representation received by voters in gerrymandered districts. Because gerrymandering can be designed to increase the number of wasted votes among the electorate, the relative representation of particular groups can be drastically altered from their actual share of the voting population. This effect can significantly prevent a gerrymandered system from achieving proportional and descriptive representation, as the winners of elections are increasingly determined by who is drawing the districts rather than the preferences of the voters.

Gerrymandering may be advocated to improve representation within the legislature among otherwise underrepresented minority groups by packing them into a single district. This can be controversial, as it may lead to those groups' remaining marginalised in the government as they become confined to a single district. Candidates outside that district no longer need to represent them to win election.

As an example, much of the redistricting conducted in the United States in the early 1990s involved the intentional creation of additional "majority-minority" districts where racial minorities such as African Americans were packed into the majority. This "maximisation policy" drew support by both the Republican Party (who had limited support among African Americans and could concentrate their power elsewhere) and by minority representatives elected as Democrats from these constituencies, who then had safe seats.

Incumbent gerrymandering

Gerrymandering can also be done to help incumbents as a whole, effectively turning every district into a packed one and greatly reducing the potential for competitive elections. This is particularly likely to occur when the minority party has significant obstruction power—unable to enact a partisan gerrymander, the legislature instead agrees on ensuring their own mutual reelection.

In an unusual occurrence in 2000, for example, the two dominant parties in the state of California cooperatively redrew both state and Federal legislative districts to preserve the status quo, ensuring the electoral safety of the politicians from unpredictable voting by the electorate. This move proved completely effective, as no State or Federal legislative office changed party in the 2004 election, although 53 congressional, 20 state senate, and 80 state assembly seats were potentially at risk.

In 2006, the term "70/30 District" came to signify the equitable split of two evenly split (i.e. 50/50) districts. The resulting districts gave each party a guaranteed seat and retained their respective power base.

Prison-based gerrymandering

Prison-based gerrymandering occurs when prisoners are counted as residents of a particular district increasing the district's population with non-voters when assigning political apportionment. This phenomenon, according to prisoners' rights organization, violates the principle of one person, one vote. Prison Policy Initiative argues that although many prisoners come from (and return to) urban communities, they are counted as "residents" of the rural districts that contain large prisons, artificially inflating the political representation in districts with prisons at the expense of voters in all other districts without prisons.[9] Others contend that prisoners should not be counted as residents of their original districts when they do not reside there and are not legally eligible to vote.

Changes to achieve competitive elections

Electoral divisions: Sydney area

Due to many issues associated with gerrymandering and its impact on competitive elections and democratic accountability, numerous countries have enacted reforms making the practice either more difficult or less effective. Countries such as the UK, Australia, Canada and most of those in Europe have transferred responsibility for defining constituency boundaries to neutral or cross-party bodies.

In the United States, however, such reforms are controversial and frequently meet particularly strong opposition from groups that benefit from gerrymandering. In a more neutral system, they might lose considerable influence.

Redistricting by neutral or cross-party agency

The most commonly advocated electoral reform proposal targeted at gerrymandering is to change the redistricting process. Under these proposals, an independent and presumably objective commission is created specifically for redistricting, rather than having the legislature do it. This is the system used in the United Kingdom, where the independent Boundary Commissions determine the boundaries for constituencies in the House of Commons and regional legislatures, subject to ratification by the body in question (almost always granted without debate). A similar situation exists in Australia where the independent Australian Electoral Commission, and its state based counterparts, determines electoral boundaries for federal, state and local jurisdictions.

To help ensure neutrality, members of a redistricting agency may be appointed from relatively apolitical sources such as retired judges or longstanding members of the civil service, possibly with requirements for adequate representation among competing political parties. Additionally, members of the board can be denied access to information that might aid in gerrymandering, such as the demographic makeup or voting patterns of the population. As a further constraint, consensus requirements can be imposed to ensure that the resulting district map reflects a wider perception of fairness, such as a requirement for a supermajority approval of the commission for any district proposal. Consensus requirements, however, can lead to deadlock, such as occurred in Missouri following the 2000 census. There, the equally numbered partisan appointees were unable to reach consensus in a reasonable time, and consequently the courts had to determine district lines.

In the US state of Iowa, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Bureau (LSB, akin to the US Congressional Research Service) determines boundaries of electoral districts. Aside from satisfying federally mandated contiguity and population equality criteria, the LSB mandates unity of counties and cities. Consideration of political factors such as location of incumbents, previous boundary locations, and political party proportions is specifically forbidden. Since Iowa's counties are chiefly regularly shaped polygons, the LSB process has led to districts that follow county lines.[8]

In 2005, the US state of Ohio had a ballot measure to create an independent commission whose first priority was competitive districts, a sort of "reverse gerrymander". A complex mathematical formula was to be used to determine the competitiveness of a district. The measure failed voter approval chiefly due to voter concerns that communities of interest would be broken up.[10]

Changing the voting system

Because gerrymandering relies on the wasted vote effect, the use of a different voting system with fewer wasted votes can help reduce gerrymandering. In particular, the use of multimember districts alongside voting systems establishing proportional representation such as Single Transferable Voting can reduce wasted votes and gerrymandering. Semi-proportional voting systems such as single non-transferable vote or cumulative voting are relatively simple and similar to first past the post and can also reduce the proportion of wasted votes and thus potential gerrymandering. Electoral reformers have advocated all three as replacement systems.[11]

Electoral systems with different forms of proportional representation are now found in nearly all European countries. In this way, they have multi-party systems (with many parties represented in the parliaments) with higher voter attendance in the elections[citation needed], fewer wasted votes, and a wider variety of political opinions represented.

Electoral systems with election of just one winner in each district (i.e., "winner-take-all" electoral systems), and no proportional distribution of extra mandates to smaller parties, tend to create two-party systems (Duverger's Law). In these, just two parties effectively compete in the national elections and thus the national political discussions are forced into a narrow two-party frame, where loyalty and forced statements inside the two parties distort the political debate.

Changing the size of districts and the elected body

If a proportional or semi-proportional voting system is used then increasing the number of winners in any given district will reduce the number of wasted votes. This can be accomplished both by merging separate districts together and by increasing the total size of the body to be elected. Since gerrymandering relies on exploiting the wasted vote effect, increasing the number of winners per district can reduce the potential for gerrymandering in proportional systems. Unless all districts are merged, however, this method cannot eliminate gerrymandering entirely.

In contrast to proportional methods, if a nonproportional voting system with multiple winners (such as block voting) is used, then increasing the size of the elected body while keeping the number of districts constant will not reduce the amount of wasted votes, leaving the potential for gerrymandering the same. While merging districts together under such a system can reduce the potential for gerrymandering, doing so also amplifies the tendency of block voting to produce landslide victories, creating a similar effect to gerrymandering by concentrating wasted votes among the opposition and denying them representation.

If a system of single-winner elections is used, then increasing the size of the elected body will implicitly increase the number of districts to be created. This change can actually make gerrymandering easier when raising the number of single-winner elections, as opposition groups can be more efficiently packed into smaller districts without accidentally including supporters, further increasing the number of wasted votes amongst the opposition.

Using fixed districts

Another way to avoid gerrymandering is simply to stop redistricting altogether and use existing political boundaries such as state, county, or provincial lines. While this prevents future gerrymandering, any existing advantage may become deeply ingrained. The United States Senate, for instance, has more competitive elections than the House of Representatives due to the use of existing state borders rather than gerrymandered districts—Senators are elected by their entire state, while Representatives are elected in legislatively drawn districts.

The use of fixed districts creates an additional problem, however, in that fixed districts do not take into account changes in population. Individual voters can come to have very different degrees of influence on the legislative process. This malapportionment can greatly affect representation after long periods of time or large population movements. In the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, several constituencies that had been fixed since they gained representation in the Parliament of England became so small that they could be won with only a handful of voters (rotten boroughs). Similarly, in the US the state legislature of Alabama refused to redistrict for more than 60 years, despite major changes in population patterns. By 1960 less than a quarter of the state's population controlled the majority of seats in the legislature.[12] However, this practice of using fixed districts for state legislatures was effectively banned in the United States after the Reynolds v. Sims Supreme Court decision, establishing a rule of one man, one vote.

Objective rules to create districts

Another means to reduce gerrymandering is to create objective, precise criteria to which any district map must comply. Courts in the United States, for instance, have ruled that congressional districts must be contiguous in order to be constitutional.[13] This, however, is not a particularly binding constraint, as very narrow strips of land with few or no voters in them may be used to connect separate regions for inclusion in one district.

Minimum district to convex polygon ratio

One method is to define a minimum district to convex polygon ratio. To use this method, every proposed district is circumscribed by the smallest possible convex polygon (similar to the concept of a convex hull, think of stretching a rubberband around the outline of the district). Then, the area of the district is divided by the area of the polygon; or, if at the edge of the state, by the portion of the area of the polygon within state boundaries. The advantages of this method are that it allows a certain amount of human intervention to take place (thus solving the Colorado problem of splitline districting); it allows the borders of the district to follow existing jagged subdivisions, such as neighbourhoods or voting districts (something isoperimetric rules would discourage); and it allows concave coastline districts, such as the Florida gulf coast area. It would mostly eliminate bent districts, but still permit long, straight ones. However, since human intervention is still allowed, the gerrymandering issues of packing and cracking would still occur, just to a lesser extent. Also, it would not allow convex coastline districts[why?], although this could be remedied by a secondary calculation using a "polygon" with a border being a defined distance from the shore[clarification needed].[citation needed]

Shortest splitline algorithm

The Center for Range Voting has proposed[14] a way to draw districts by a simple algorithm.[15] The algorithm uses only the shape of the state, the number N of districts wanted, and the population distribution as inputs. The algorithm (slightly simplified) is:

  1. Start with the boundary outline of the state.
  2. Let N=A+B where A and B are as nearly equal whole numbers as possible. (For example, 7=4+3.)
  3. Among all possible dividing lines that split the state into two parts with population ratio A:B, choose the shortest.
  4. We now have two hemi-states, each to contain a specified number (namely A and B) of districts. Handle them recursively via the same splitting procedure.

This district-drawing algorithm has the advantages of simplicity, ultra-low cost, lack of intentional bias, and it produces simple boundaries that do not meander needlessly. It has the disadvantage of ignoring geographic features such as rivers, cliffs, and highways and cultural features such as tribal boundaries. This landscape oversight causes it to produce districts differently than those an unbiased human would produce. Ignoring geographic features can induce very simple boundaries.

Another criticism of the system is that splitline districts sometimes divide and diffuse the voters in a large metropolitan area. This condition is most likely to occur when one of the first splitlines cuts through the metropolitan area. It is often considered a drawback of the system because residents of the same city are assumed to be a community of common interest. This is most evident in the splitline allocation of Colorado.[16]

As of July 2007, shortest-splitline redistricting pictures are now available for all 50 states.[17]

Minimum isoperimetric quotient

It is possible to define a specific minimum isoperimetric quotient,[18] proportional to the ratio between the area and the square of the perimeter of any given congressional voting district. Although technologies presently exist to define districts in this manner, there are no rules in place mandating their use, and no national movement to implement such a policy. Such rules would prevent incorporation of jagged natural boundaries, such as rivers or mountains. When such boundaries are required (such as at the edge of a state), certain districts may not be able to meet the required minima. Enforcing a minimum isoperimetric quotient, would encourage districts with a high ratio between area and perimeter.[18]

Use of databases and computer technology

The introduction of modern computers alongside the development of elaborate voter databases and special districting software has made gerrymandering a far more precise science. Using such databases, political parties can obtain detailed information about every household including political party registration, previous campaign donations, and the number of times residents voted in previous elections and combine it with other predictors of voting behaviour such as age, income, race, or education level. With this data, gerrymandering politicians can predict the voting behaviour of each potential district with an astonishing degree of precision, leaving little chance for creating an accidentally competitive district.

National examples of gerrymandering

Among western democracies, Israel and the Netherlands employ electoral systems with only one (nationwide) voting district for election of national representatives. This virtually precludes gerrymandering.

Brazil

Since the end of the Empire Era (1822–1889), Brazil has adopted the proportional system for the National, State, and local legislative elections, with some variations. However, it is said that during the military dictatorship (1964–1985), especially in the General Ernesto Geisel Presidency, States were incorporated (Guanabara State into Rio de Janeiro State - 1975) or split (Mato Grosso/Mato Grosso do Sul - 1979), both without popular referendum, in order to prevent the rising of the opposition party (MDB).

Canada

Early in Canadian history, both the federal and provincial levels used gerrymandering to try to maximise partisan power. When Alberta and Saskatchewan were admitted to Confederation in 1905, their original district boundaries were set forth in the respective Alberta and Saskatchewan Acts. These boundaries had been devised by federal Liberal cabinet members to ensure the election of provincial Liberal governments.

Since responsibility for drawing federal and provincial electoral boundaries was handed over to independent agencies, this problem has largely been eliminated at these levels of government. Manitoba was the first province to authorise a non-partisan group to define constituency boundaries in the 1950s. In 1964, the federal government delegated the drawing of boundaries for national seats to the "arm's length" Elections Canada.

As a result, gerrymandering is not generally a major issue in Canada except at the civic level. Although city wards are recommended by independent agencies, city councils occasionally overrule them. This is much more likely where the city is not homogenous and different neighbourhoods have sharply different opinions about city policy direction.

In 2006, a controversy arose on Prince Edward Island over the provincial government's decision to throw out an electoral map drawn by an independent commission. Instead they created two new maps. The government adopted the second of these, designed by the caucus of the governing party. Opposition parties and the media attacked Premier Pat Binns for what they saw as gerrymandering of districts. Among other things, the government adopted a map that ensured that every current Member of the Legislative Assembly from the premier's party had a district to run in for re-election, whereas in the original map, several had been redistricted.[19] Despite this, in the 2007 provincial election only seven of 20 incumbent Members of the Legislative Assembly were re-elected (seven did not run for re-election), and the government was defeated.

The current federal electoral district boundaries in Saskatchewan have also been labelled as gerrymandered—the province's two major cities, Saskatoon and Regina, are both "cracked" into four districts each when the populations of the cities proper would justify about three and two and a half all-urban (or mostly urban) districts respectively;[20] the map instead groups parts of the New Democratic Party-friendly cities with large Conservative-leaning rural areas.[21]

At that time, the districts were created in their largely present form in the mid-1990s, it was alleged that they were intended to give the NDP and Liberals a fair chance of winning additional seats that included large sections of the province's rural hinterlands at the expense of the Reform Party. In 1997, the Reform Party won three of the four Saskatoon seats despite their failure to earn a plurality of the city vote in any of the three ridings. In 2000, its successor, the Canadian Alliance, added the remaining Saskatoon seat plus one in Regina, and, in 2004, the Canadian Alliance's successor, the Conservative Party of Canada, added the NDP's two remaining Regina seats to shut the NDP out of the province. Since then, the Conservatives have held the seven districts in question, while the NDP holds no seats in the province despite a strong proportion of the vote especially in the cities. Polling data shows the Conservatives could probably not have swept either of these cities had they contained either completely or mostly urban constituencies. In 2011, the NDP again failed to win a seat in Saskatchewan, despite polling nearly a third of the popular vote in the province (above the national average) and winning 103 seats elsewhere in the country.

Chile

The military government which ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990 was ousted in a national plebiscite in October 1988. Opponents of General Augusto Pinochet voted NO to remove him from power and to trigger democratic elections, while supporters (mostly from the right-wing) voted YES to keep him in office for another eight years.

Five months prior to the plebiscite, the regime published a law regulating future elections and referendums, but electoral districts and the way Congress seats would be awarded were only added to the law seven months after the referendum,[22][23] raising suspicions of gerrymandering.

For the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) 60 districts were drawn by grouping neighboring communes (the smallest administrative subdivision in the country) belonging to the same region (the largest administrative division). It was established that only two deputies would be elected per district and that the most voted coalition would need to outpoll its closest rival by a margin of more than 2-to-1 to take both seats. Thus, it is alleged, the electoral map was drawn in such a way that —with the results of the 1988 plebiscite at hand— in no district would the NO votes outpoll the YES votes by more than two to one.[24][25] In spite of this, at the 1989 parliamentary election, the center-left opposition was able to capture both seats (the so-called doblaje) in twelve out of 60 districts, winning control of 60% of the Chamber.

Senate constituencies were created by grouping all lower-chamber districts in a region, or by dividing a region into two constituencies of contiguous lower-chamber districts. The 1980 Constitution had envisioned the little effect of gerrymandering in the upper house by allocating a number of seats to appointed senators. This would ensure that neither coalition would have the necessary votes to change the Constitution by themselves. The opposition won 22 senate seats in the 1989 election, taking both seats in three out of 19 constituencies, controlling 58% of the elected Senate, but only 47% of the full Senate.

The unelected senators were eliminated in the 2005 constitutional reforms, but the electoral map has remained largely untouched. (Two new regions were created in 2007, one of which altered the composition of two senatorial constituencies. The first election to be affected by this minor change will take place in 2013.)

Germany

When the electoral districts in Germany were redrawn in 2000, the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) was accused of gerrymandering to marginalise the socialist PDS party. The SPD combined traditional PDS strongholds in eastern Berlin with new districts made up of more populous areas of western Berlin, where the PDS had very limited following.

After having won four seats in Berlin in the 1998 national election, the PDS was able to retain only two seats altogether in the 2002 elections. Under German electoral law, a political party has to win either more than five percent of the votes, or at least three directly elected seats, to qualify for top-up seats under the Additional Member System. The PDS vote fell below five percent thus they failed to qualify for top-up seats and were confined to just two members of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament (elected representatives are always allowed to hold their seats as individuals). Had they won a third constituency, the PDS would have gained at least 25 additional seats, which would have been enough to hold the balance of power in the Bundestag.

In the election of 2005, the Left Party (successor of the PDS) gained 8.7% of the votes and thus qualified for top-up seats.

However, the number of Bundestag seats of parties which traditionally get over 5% of the votes cannot be affected very much by gerrymandering, because seats are awarded to these parties on a proportional basis. Only when a party wins so many districts in any one of the 16 federal states that those seats alone count for more than its proportional share of the vote in that same state does the districting have some influence on larger parties—those extra seats, called "Überhangmandate", remain.

Greece

Gerrymandering has been rather common in Greek history since organised parties with national ballots only appeared after the 1926 Constitution. The only case before that was the creation of the Piraeus electoral district in 1906, in order to give the Theotokis party a safe district. The most infamous case of gerrymandering was in the 1956 elections, which was incidentally the first election where women voted. While in all other post World War II national elections the districts were based on the prefecture (νομός) for 1956 the country was split in districts of varying sizes, others being the size of prefectures, others the size of sub-prefectures (επαρχία) and others somewhere in between. In small districts the winning party would take all seats, in intermediate size it would take most and there was proportional representation in the largest districts. The districts though were chosen in such a way that small districts were those that traditionally voted for the right while large districts were those that voted against the right. This system has become known as the three-phase (τριφασικό) system or the baklava system (because, as baklava is split into full pieces and corner pieces, the country was also split into disproportionate pieces). The opposition, being composed of the center and the left, formed a coalition with the sole intent to change the electoral law to be more representative and call new elections, despite the fact that only seven years earlier the center and the left had fought each other in the Greek Civil War. Despite the opposition winning the popular vote (1,620,007 votes against 1,594,992), the right wing ERE won the majority of seats (165 to 135) and was to lead the country for the next two years.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, although constituencies of district councils, the Urban Council, the Regional Council and the geographical constituencies of the Legislative Council have always been demarcated by the Boundary and Election Commission or its successor Electoral Affairs Commission, which is chaired by a judge, functional constituencies are demarcated by the government and defined in statutes,[26] making them prone to gerrymandering. The functional constituency for the information technology sector was particular criticised for gerrymandering and voteplanting.[27]

Ireland

Until the 1980s Dáil boundaries in the state of Ireland were drawn not by an independent commission but by government ministers. Successive arrangements by governments of all political characters have been attacked as gerrymandering. Ireland uses the Single Transferable Vote and as well as the actual boundaries drawn the main tool of gerrymandering has been the number of seats per constituency used, with three-seat constituencies normally benefiting the strongest parties in an area, whereas four-seat constituencies normally helped the second strongest party.

In 1947 the rapid rise of new party Clann na Poblachta threatened the position of the governing party Fianna Fáil. The government of Éamon de Valera introduced the Electoral Amendment Act, 1947, which increased the size of the Dáil from 138 to 147 and increased the number of three-seat constituencies from fifteen to twenty-two. The result has been described as "a blatant attempt at gerrymander which no Six County Unionist could have bettered."[28] The following February the 1948 general election was held and Clann na Poblachta secured ten seats instead of the nineteen they would have received proportional to their vote.[28]

In the mid-1970s, the Minister for Local Government, James Tully, attempted to arrange the constituencies to ensure that the governing Fine GaelLabour Party National Coalition would win a parliamentary majority. The Electoral (Amendment) Act 1974 was planned as a major reversal of previous gerrymandering by Fianna Fáil (then in opposition). Tully ensured that there were as many as possible three-seat constituencies where the governing parties were strong, in the expectation that the governing parties would each win a seat in many constituencies, relegating Fianna Fáil to one out of three. In areas where the governing parties were weak, four-seat constituencies were used so that the governing parties had a strong chance of still winning two. The election results created substantial change, as there was a larger than expected collapse in the vote. Fianna Fáil won a landslide victory in the Irish general election, 1977, two out of three seats in many cases, relegating the National Coalition parties to fight for the last seat. Consequently, the term Tullymandering was used to describe the phenomenon of a failed attempt at gerrymandering.

Latvia

In 1989 and 1990 elections, some accused the Popular Front of Latvia (PFL) of gerrymandering in favour of ethnic Latvians. For example, in 1990 the nearly pure Latvian-ethnic Ventspils district (with about 0.6% of population) was awarded three constituencies out of 201 (1.5%), with two of PFL candidates running unopposed.[29] In 1991, most native Russians were non-citizens and so had no voting rights. In 1993, the country returned to proportional representation.

Lithuania

After declaring independence from the USSR in 1990, in 1994, the government reorganised the county and municipal boundaries in the Vilnius region to reduce the influence of the Polish majority in the area. That was done by connecting the majority-Polish areas in the Vilnius, Trakai and Šalčininkai municipalities to municipalities without major Polish populations, such as Elektrėnai, Ukmergė and Širvintos. The result is that Vilnius County has a total Polish minority of 29.01%, which contain municipalities like Vilnius and Šalčininkai, which have a much larger percentage of the population (61.3% and 80% respectively).

Malaysia

The practice of gerrymandering had been around in the country since its independence, the ruling coalition (National Front) was accused of controlling the election commission by revising the borders of the area of constituents, the general election results shown clearly that the ruling coalition needed only 40% of total votes to stay in power.[30]

Malta

Allegedly, the Labour Party that won in 1981 even though the Nationalist Party got the most votes had done so because of its gerrymandering. A 1987 constitutional amendment prevented that situation from reoccurring.

Nepal

After the restoration of democracy in 1990, Nepali politics has well exercised the practice of gerrymandering with the view to take advantage in the election. It was often practised by Nepali Congress, which remained in power in most of the time. Learning from this, the reshaping of constituency was done for constituent assembly and the oppositin now wins elections.

Northern Ireland

Gerrymandering is widely considered to have been introduced after the establishment of Home Rule in Northern Ireland in 1921, favouring Unionists who tended to be Protestant, to the detriment of Nationalists who were mostly Catholic. However Stephen Gwynn had noted as early as 1911 that since the introduction of the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898:

"In Armagh there are 68,000 Protestants, 56,000 Catholics. The County Council has twenty-two Protestants and eight Catholics. In Tyrone, Catholics are a majority of the population, 82,000 against 68,000; but the electoral districts have been so arranged that Unionists return sixteen as against thirteen Nationalists (one a Protestant). This Council gives to the Unionists two to one majority on its Committees, and out of fifty-two officials employs only five Catholics. In Antrim, which has the largest Protestant majority (196,000 to 40,000), twenty-six Unionists and three Catholics are returned. Sixty officers out of sixty-five are good Unionists and Protestants."[31]

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Ulster Unionist Party created new electoral boundaries for the Londonderry County Borough Council to ensure election of a Unionist council in a city where Nationalists had a large majority and had won previous elections.[32] Initially local parties drew the boundaries, but in the 1930s the province-wide government redrew them to reinforce the gerrymander.[32] Some critics and supporters spoke at the time of "A Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People".

In 1929, the Parliament of Northern Ireland passed a bill shifting the Parliament's electoral system from the relatively proportional single transferable vote (STV) to the less proportional first past the post or plurality voting system. The only exception was for the election of four Stormont MPs to represent the Queen's University of Belfast. Many scholars believe that the boundaries were gerrymandered to underrepresent Nationalists. [28]Some geographers and historians, for instance Professor John H. Whyte, disagree.[32][33] They have argued that the electoral boundaries for the Parliament of Northern Ireland were not gerrymandered to a greater level than that produced by any single-winner election system, and that the actual number of Nationalist MPs barely changed under the revised system (it went from 12 to 11 and later went back up to 12). Most observers have acknowledged that the change to a single-winner system was a key factor, however, in stifling the growth of smaller political parties, such as the Northern Ireland Labour Party and Independent Unionists.

The United Kingdom suspended the Parliament of Northern Ireland and its government in 1972. It restored the single transferable vote (STV) for elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly in the following year, using the same definitions of constituencies as for the Westminster Parliament. Currently in Northern Ireland, all elections use the STV except those for positions in the Westminster Parliament, which follow the pattern in the rest of the United Kingdom by using "first past the post."

Singapore

In recent decades, critics have accused the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) of unfair electoral practices to maintain significant majorities in the Parliament of Singapore. Among the complaints are that the government uses gerrymandering.[34]

The Elections Department was established as part of the executive branch under the Prime Minister of Singapore, rather than as an independent body.[35] Critics have accused it of giving the ruling party the power to decide polling districts and polling sites through electoral engineering, based on poll results in previous election.[36] Opposition parties have alleged that the Elections Department decisions have given unfair advantage to the ruling party and have affected the outcome of some electoral battles.[37][38]

Critics point out the dissolution of the Group Representation Constituencies (GRC) of Cheng San GRC and Eunos GRC. Each was dissolved by the Elections Department with voters redistributed to other constituencies after opposition parties gained ground in elections.[39][40] Such action was controversial.

PAP strongholds, such as Tanjong Pagar GRC and Ang Mo Kio GRC, where Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong respectively contest, have seldom been contested by the opposition. When Ang Mo Kio GRC was last contested in 2006, the PAP has won 66% of the votes.

The electoral boundaries map as of 2010 shows a large variation in size of districts and the number of citizens represented on average by each MP.

Sudan

In the most recent election of 2010, there were numerous examples of gerrymandering throughout the entire country of Sudan. A report from the Rift Valley Institute uncovered violations of Sudan's electoral law, where constituencies were created that were well below and above the required limit. According to Sudan's National Elections Act of 2008, no constituency can have a population that is 15% greater or less than the average constituency size. The Rift Valley Report uncovered a number of constituencies that are in violation of this rule. Examples include constituencies in Jonglei, Warrap, South Darfur, and several other states.[41]

United States

U.S. congressional districts covering Travis County, Texas (outlined in red) in 2002, left, and 2004, right. In 2003, the majority of Republicans in the Texas legislature redistricted the state, diluting the voting power of the heavily Democratic county by parcelling its residents out to more Republican districts.

The United States has a long tradition of gerrymandering that precedes the 1789 election of the First U.S. Congress. In 1788, Patrick Henry and his Anti-Federalist allies were in control of the Virginia House of Delegates. They drew the boundaries of Virginia's 5th congressional district in an unsuccessful attempt to keep James Madison out of the U.S. House of Representatives.[42]

Historically, each state legislature has used gerrymandering to try to control the political makeup of its delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. Partisan legislators typically try to maximise the number of congressional delegation seats under the control of the legislature's majority party.

The practice of gerrymandering the borders of new states continued past the Civil War and into the late 19th century. The Republican Party used its control of Congress to secure the admission of more states in territories friendly to their party - the admission of Dakota Territory as two states instead of one being a notable example. By the rules for representation in the Electoral College, each new state carried at least three electoral votes regardless of its population.[43]

All redistricting in the United States has been contentious because it has been controlled by political parties vying for power. As a consequence of the decennial census required by the United States Constitution, districts for members of the House of Representatives typically need to be redrawn. In many states, state legislatures have redrawn boundaries for state legislative districts at the same time.

"The Gerry-mander" first appeared in this cartoon-map in the Boston Gazette, 26 March 1812.

When faced with losing power, however, members of some legislatures simply refused to redistrict. Early struggles for power were between rural and urban interests, as well as between political parties. The state legislature of Alabama, for instance, refused to redistrict from 1901 to the 1960s, despite changing conditions in a state that was industrialising and where population was rapidly moving to cities. This allowed state politics to heavily favour rural interests. In 1960, approximately a quarter of the state's population controlled the state legislature. When the state legislature could not agree on boundaries, a federal court worked with a new non-partisan body to conclude defining new districts in 1972.[44]

Intense political battles over contentious redistricting typically take place within state legislatures responsible for creating the electoral maps. Since passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, federal courts may be involved to ensure that historical patterns of discrimination are not perpetuated.

This process can create strange bedfellows interested in securing reelection; in some states, Republicans have cut deals with opposing black Democratic state legislators to create majority-black districts. By packing black Democratic voters into a single district, they can essentially ensure the election of a black Congressman or reelection of a black state legislator due to the packed concentration of Democratic voters—however, the surrounding districts are more safely Republican in areas like the South, where white conservatives have increasingly shifted from the Democratic to the Republican Party in national elections in the last four decades.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican-dominated state legislature used gerrymandering to help defeat Democratic representative Frank Mascara. Mascara was elected to Congress in 1994. In 2002, the Republican Party altered the boundaries of his original district so much that he was pitted against fellow Democratic candidate John Murtha in the election. The shape of Mascara's newly drawn district formed a finger that stopped at his street, encompassing his house, but not the spot where he parked his car. Murtha won the election in the newly formed district.[45]

State legislatures have used gerrymandering along racial or ethnic lines both to decrease and increase minority representation in state governments and congressional delegations. In the state of Ohio, a conversation between Republican officials was recorded that demonstrated that redistricting was being done to aid their political candidates. Furthermore, the discussions assessed race of voters as a factor in redistricting, because African-Americans had backed Democratic candidates. Republicans apparently removed approximately 13,000 African American voters from the district of Jim Raussen, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, in an attempt to tip the scales in what was once a competitive district for Democratic candidates.[46]

In some states, bipartisan gerrymandering is the norm. State legislators from both parties sometimes agree to draw congressional district boundaries in a way that ensures the re-election of most or all incumbent representatives from both parties.

International election observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, who were invited to observe and report on the 2004 national elections, expressed criticism of the U.S. congressional redistricting process and made a recommendation that the procedures be reviewed to ensure genuine competitiveness of Congressional election contests.[47]

Voting Rights Act of 1965

After Reconstruction and the granting of citizenship and suffrage to freedmen, state legislatures developed new constitutions with provisions to make voter registration and elections more complicated, such as poll taxes, residency requirements, literacy tests and grandfather clauses. These were designed for and effectively succeeded in disfranchising most African Americans and many poor whites in southern states. In areas where African American and other minorities succeeded in registering, some states created districts that were gerrymandered to reduce the voting impact of minorities.

With the Civil Rights Movement and passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, additional federal enforcement and protections of suffrage for all citizens were enacted. Gerrymandering for the purpose of reducing the political influence of a racial or ethnic minority group was prohibited. Poll taxes for federal elections were prohibited by ratification of the Twenty-fourth Amendment in 1964, and a later Supreme Court case struck down poll taxes as a prerequisite for any election. Gerrymandering for political gain has remained possible under the Constitution.

Shaw v. Reno was a United States Supreme Court case involving the redistricting and racial gerrymandering of North Carolina's 12th congressional district (pictured).

After the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, some states created "majority-minority" districts. This practice, also called "affirmative gerrymandering", was supposed to redress historic discrimination and ensure that ethnic minorities would gain some seats in government. Since the 1990s, however, gerrymandering based solely on racial data has been ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment, first in Shaw v. Reno (1993) and subsequently in Miller v. Johnson (1995).

The constitutionality of using racial considerations to create districts remains difficult to assess, despite past injustices. In Hunt v. Cromartie (1999), the Supreme Court approved a racially focused gerrymandering of a congressional district on the grounds that the definition was not pure racial gerrymandering but instead partisan gerrymandering, which is constitutionally permissible. With the increasing racial polarisation of parties in the South in the U.S. as conservative whites move from the Democratic to the Republican Party, gerrymandering may become partisan and also achieve goals for ethnic representation.

In a few circumstances the use of goal-driven district boundaries may be used for positive social goals. When the state legislature considered representation for Arizona's Native American reservations, they thought each needed their own House member, because of historic conflicts between the Hopi and Navajo nations. Since the Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation, the legislature created an unusual district configuration that features a fine filament along a river course several hundred miles in length to attach two Navajo regions, Arizona's 2nd congressional district.

The California state legislature created a congressional district that extends over a narrow coastal strip for several miles. It ensures that a common community of interest will be represented, rather than the coastal areas being dominated by inland concerns.

Recent steps

In a decision on June 28, 2006, the United States Supreme Court upheld most of a Texas congressional map engineered in 2003 by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.[48] The 7–2 decision allows state legislatures to redraw and gerrymander districts as often as they like (not just after the decennial census). Thus they may work to protect their political parties' standing and number of seats, so long as they do not harm racial and ethnic minority groups. A 5–4 majority declared one Congressional district unconstitutional in the case because of harm to an ethnic minority.

Rather than allowing more political influence, some states' citizens are considering shifting redistricting authority from politicians and giving it to non-partisan commissions. The states of Washington,[49] Arizona,[50] and California[51] have created standing committees for the redistricting following the 2010 census. Rhode Island[52] and New Jersey[53] have developed ad hoc committees, but developed the past two decennial reapportionments tied to new census data. Florida's amendments 5 and 6, meanwhile, established rules for the creation of districts but did not mandate an independent commission.[54]

Venezuela

In the September 26, 2010 legislative elections, gerrymandering occurred by the single-party National Assembly of Venezuela a few months before, in an adendum to the electoral law). Hugo Chávez's political party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela drew 48% of the votes, but his opponents (the Coalition for Democratic Unity and the Fatherland for All) drew 52% of the votes.

Because of the recent and, by some accounts illegal, gerrymandering of electoral legislative districts, Chávez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela was awarded over 60% of the spots in the National Assembly (98 deputies), but those two parties of his opponents got a total of only 67 deputies.

Related terms

In a play on words, the use of race-conscious procedures in jury selection has been termed "jurymandering".[55][56]

See also


References

  1. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (2008). "The Original Gerrymander". Political Geography 27 (4): 833–839. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2008.09.003. 
  2. ^ There is no evidence that the famous American portrait painter Gilbert Stuart had any involvement with either the design, drawing, or naming of the cartoon, or with the coining of the term. Detailed biographies and academic journal articles about Stuart make no reference to gerrymandering. The myth of Stuart’s association with the original gerrymander has been reproduced and spread, without verification or sources, from one reference book and Internet site to another. Modern scholars of Stuart are in agreement that no proof exists to credit him with the term or cartoon and that he had the propensity not to be involved with such issues. Martis, Kenneth C. (2008). "The Original Gerrymander". Political Geography 27 (4): 833–839. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2008.09.003. 
  3. ^ O’Brien, D. C. (1984). "Elkanah Tisdale: Designer, Engraver and Miniature Painter". Connecticut Historical Bulletin 49 (2): 83–96. 
  4. ^ Library of Congress. Original woodblocks for printing “Gerrymander” political cartoon. Geography and Map Reading Room. LCCN Permalink: http://lccn.loc.gov/2003620165.
  5. ^ The word gerrymander was used again in two Boston-area papers the very next day. The first usage outside of the immediate Boston area came in the Newburyport Herald (Massachusetts) on March 31st, and the first use outside of the state of Massachusetts came in the Concord Gazette (New Hampshire) on April 14, 1812. The first use outside of New England came in the New York Gazette & General Advertiser on May 19th. What may be the first use of the term to describe the redistricting in another state (Maryland) occurred in the Federal Republican (Georgetown, Washington, DC) on October 12, 1812. All in all there are at least 80 known citations of the word from March through December 1812 in American newspapers. Martis, Kenneth C. (2008). "The Original Gerrymander". Political Geography 27 (4): 833–839. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2008.09.003. 
  6. ^ Simpson, J. A., Weiner, E. S. C. Gerrymander. Oxford English Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ Michel Balinski, "Fair Majority Voting (or How to Eliminate Gerrymandering)" Amer. Math. Monthly 115 2 (2008): 97. "Incumbent candidates, in tailored districts, are almost certain of reelection (over 98% in 2002, over 94% in 2006)".
  8. ^ a b "Iowa's Redistricting Process: An Example of the Right Way to Draw Legislative". Centrists.Org. 2004-07-22. http://www.centrists.org/pages/2004/07/7_buck_trust.html. Retrieved 2009-08-05. [dead link]
  9. ^ Prison-Based Gerrymandering—New York Times editorial, New York Times, May 20, 2006.
  10. ^ "Issue 4: Independent Redistricting Process – Ohio State Government". Smartvoter.org. http://www.smartvoter.org/2005/11/08/oh/state/issue/4/. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  11. ^ See, e.g., Richard L. Engstrom, The Single Transferable Vote: An Alternative Remedy for Minority Vote Dilution, 27 U.S.F.L.Rev. 781, 806 (1993) (arguing that the Single Transferable Voting systems maintain minority electoral opportunities); Steven J. Mulroy, Alternative Ways Out: A Remedial Road Map for the Use of Alternative Electoral Systems as Voting Rights Act Remedies, 77 N.C.L.Rev. 1867, 1923 (1999) (concluding that ranked-ballot voting systems avoid minority vote dilution); Steven J. Mulroy, The Way Out: A Legal Standard for Imposing Alternative Electoral Systems as Voting Rights Remedies, 33 Harv.C.R.-C.L.L.Rev. 333, 350 (1998) (arguing that preferential voting systems enhance minority representation); and Alexander Athan Yanos, Note, Reconciling the Right to Vote With the Voting Rights Act, 92 Colum.L.Rev. 1810, 1865-66 (1992) (arguing that Single Transferable Voting serves to preserve the minority party's right to representation).
  12. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald, US Elections Project: Alabama Redistricting Summary Dept. of Public and International Affairs George Mason University. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
  13. ^ Reynolds v. Sims states that "a state legislative apportionment scheme may properly give representation to various political subdivisions and provide for compact districts of contiguous territory if substantial equality among districts is maintained." See also the Wikipedia article.
  14. ^ "Gerrymandering and a cure - shortest splitline algorithm". RangeVoting.org. http://www.RangeVoting.org/GerryExamples.html. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  15. ^ "RangeVoting.org - Center for Range Voting". http://www.RangeVoting.org. 
  16. ^ http://www.rangevoting.org/SSHR/co_final.png
  17. ^ "Splitline districtings of all 50 states + DC + PR". RangeVoting.org. http://www.RangeVoting.org/SplitLR.html. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  18. ^ a b "James Case "Flagrant Gerrymandering: Help from the Isoperimetric Theorem?"" (PDF). http://www.siam.org/pdf/news/1237.pdf. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  19. ^ "No Christmas election: Binns". cbc.ca, November 16, 2006.
  20. ^ Based on the average population per federal riding in Saskatchewan, which is considerably less than in the more populous provinces
  21. ^ "Current electoral map of Saskatchewan". http://www.elections.ca/scripts/fedrep/searchengine/search_by_maps.asp. 
  22. ^ "LEY-18700 06-MAY-1988 MINISTERIO DEL INTERIOR". Leychile.cl. http://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=30082&tipoVersion=0. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  23. ^ "LEY-18799 26-MAY-1989 MINISTERIO DEL INTERIOR". Leychile.cl. http://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idLey=18799. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  24. ^ The Chilean Electoral System.
  25. ^ Ciudad y política. [Revista]. Hechos Urbanos, boletín de información y análisis. Santiago de Chile : Centro de Documentación SUR, V. 79, octubre, 1988. Obtenido desde: http://www.sitiosur.cl/r.php?id=154. [Consultado en: 22-12-2010]
  26. ^ Legislative Council Ordinance
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ a b c Tim Pat Coogan, De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow (Hutchinson, London, 1993) hardback. page 637 ISBN 0-09-175030-X
  29. ^ Constituencies in 1990 elections—see Ugāles, Tārgales, Ziru constituencies, # 199—201
  30. ^ [2] See table
  31. ^ Gwynn S.L. The Case for Home Rule (1911) pp.104-105. (http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/E900030.html book text here; accessed Aug 2010)
  32. ^ a b c "CAIN: Issues – Discrimination: John Whyte, 'How much discrimination was there under the Unionist regime, 1921–1968?'". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/whyte.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  33. ^ "Northern Ireland House of Commons, 1921–1972". Ark.ac.uk. http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/hnihoc.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  34. ^ Yawning Bread, "Electoral boundary changes: as opaque as ever", March 2006. http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2006/yax-553.htm
  35. ^ Prime Minister's Office, Our Departments
  36. ^ Electoral Engineering: Voting Rules and Political Behavior, Pippa Norris
  37. ^ About Elections, Singapore Democratic Party
  38. ^ Manifesto, The Workers' Party of Singapore
  39. ^ [3] 1997 Election Results
  40. ^ "Republic Polytechnic Forum". http://forum.rp.sg/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=863. 
  41. ^ "Rift Valley Report" (PDF). http://www.riftvalley.net/resources/file/Electoral%20Designs%20-%20Report%20on%20elections%20in%20Sudan.pdf. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  42. ^ Labunski, Richard. James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006
  43. ^ Compare a map of the United States in 1860 [4] with a map from 1870 [5].
  44. ^ Dr. Michael McDonald, U.S. Elections Project: Alabama Redistricting Summary George Mason University, Dept. of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
  45. ^ Rachel Morris (November 2006). "The Race to Gerrymander". The Washington Monthly. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0611.morris.html. 
  46. ^ "Republican Party Politics (Part II)". Associated Press. WCPO. 29 April 2002. http://www.wcpo.com/wcpo/localshows/iteam/cdd905.html. 
  47. ^ "XI" (PDF). http://osce.org/documents/odihr/2005/03/13658_en.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  48. ^ "High court upholds most of Texas redistricting map". Associated Press. CNN. 28 June 2006. http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/06/28/scotus.texasredistrict/index.html. 
  49. ^ Washington State Redistricting Commission "Washington State Redistricting Commission". Redistricting.wa.gov. http://www.redistricting.wa.gov. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  50. ^ Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission "Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission". Azredistricting.org. http://www.azredistricting.org. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  51. ^ Proposition 11, passed in 2008, and Proposition 20, passed in 2010
  52. ^ Rhode Island Reapportionment Commission Temporarily Disabled
  53. ^ New Jersey Redistricting Commission
  54. ^ "Election 2010: Palm Beach County & Florida Voting, Candidates, Endorsements | The Palm Beach Post". Projects.palmbeachpost.com. http://projects.palmbeachpost.com/yourvote/ballot_question/florida/2010/amendment-5-and-6-2010/. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  55. ^ King, Nancy J. (1993), Racial Jurymandering: Cancer or Cure--A Contemporary Review of Affirmative Action in Jury Selection, 68, N.Y.U. L. Rev., p. 707, http://heinonlinebackup.com/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/nylr68&section=32 
  56. ^ Fukurai, Hiroshi (2001), Critical Evaluations of Hispanic Participation on the Grand Jury: Key-Man Selection, Jurymandering Language, and Representative Quotas, 5, Tex. Hisp. J.L. & Pol'y 7, http://heinonlinebackup.com/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/thlp5&section=5 

External links

Gerrymandering: A documentary film written/directed by Jeff Reichert that intelligibly offers an audience-friendly definition of the term "gerrymandering", provides examples of unfair redistricting practices in the United States and follows the fight to pass Proposition 11 in California's 2008 elections.
Alleged Gerrymandering in Malaysia: Over-representation of rural districts
Alleged Gerrymandering in Singapore
Reapportionment and Redistricting in the US

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gerrymandering — (pronúnciese Yerrimándering) es un controvertido modo de redistribuir las circunscripciones electorales de un territorio para obtener ventaja, en especial en los lugares en los que se utiliza el sistema electoral mayoritario. El gerrymandering… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • gerrymandering — v. Apportioning legislative districts in a way calculated to give an undue advantage to a political party, by concentrating its members or separating those of another party from one another; implies lines drawn in an otherwise illogical way.… …   Law dictionary

  • gerrymandering — UK [ˈdʒeriˌmændərɪŋ] US noun [uncountable] the process of dividing a region in which people vote in a way that gives one political group an unfair advantage Thesaurus: votes and the process or act of votinghyponym Derived Word: gerrymander …   Useful english dictionary

  • Gerrymandering — El origen del término está en esta caricatura política elaborado por Gilbert Stuart en 1812. El nombre de la caricatura es The Gerrymander, juego de palabras con el apellido del gobernador de Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry y salamander (en inglés …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gerrymandering — Satirische Darstellung der Wahlbezirke Massachusetts aus dem Jahr 1812 Gerrymandering [ˈd͡ʒɛɹɪmændəɹɪŋ], ein Begriff der Politikwissenschaft, ist die absichtliche, dem Stimmgewinn dienende Manipulation der Grenzen von Wahlkreisen bei einem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gerrymandering — Note : cet article se préoccupe plus particulièrement de la politique aux États Unis et au Canada. Lire l article découpage électoral pour une vue internationale du sujet. Le gerrymandering est un terme politique nord américain pour désigner …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gerrymandering — Drawing of electoral district lines in a way that gives advantage to a particular political party. The practice is named after Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who submitted to the state senate a redistricting plan that would have concentrated… …   Universalium

  • gerrymandering — [[t]ʤe̱rimæ̱ndərɪŋ[/t]] N UNCOUNT (disapproval) Gerrymandering is the act of altering political boundaries in order to give an unfair advantage to one political party or group of people. With the help of skilful gerrymandering, the Party has… …   English dictionary

  • Gerrymandering — Gerrymander Ger ry*man der, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Gerrymandered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Gerrymandering}.] To divide (a State) into districts for the choice of representatives, in an unnatural and unfair way, with a view to give a political party an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gerrymandering — UK [ˈdʒerɪˌmændərɪŋ] / US noun [uncountable] the process of dividing a region in which people vote in a way that gives one political group an unfair advantage Derived word: gerrymander verb transitive Word forms gerrymander : present tense… …   English dictionary


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