gerrymandering


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ger·ry·man·der

 (jĕr′ē-măn′dər, gĕr′-)
tr.v. ger·ry·man·dered, ger·ry·man·der·ing, ger·ry·man·ders
To divide (a geographic area) into voting districts in a way that gives one party an unfair advantage in elections.
n.
1. The act, process, or an instance of gerrymandering.
2. A district or configuration of districts whose boundaries are very irregular due to gerrymandering.

[After Elbridge Gerry + (sala)mander (from the shape of an election district created while Gerry was governor of Massachusetts).]
Word History: In 1812, as governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry signed a bill authorizing the revision of voting districts in his state. Members of Gerry's party redrew them in order to secure their representation in the state senate, and out of Gerry's home county, Essex County, they carved an unlikely-looking district with the shape of a salamander. According to one version of the coining of gerrymander, the shape of the district attracted the eye of the painter Gilbert Stuart, who noticed it on a map in a newspaper editor's office. Stuart decorated the outline of the district with a head, wings, and claws and then said to the editor, "That will do for a salamander!" "Gerrymander!" came the reply. The image created by Stuart first appeared in the March 26, 1812, edition of the Boston Gazette, where it was accompanied by the following title: The Gerrymander. A New Species of Monster, which appeared in the Essex South District in Jan. 1812. The new word gerrymander caught on instantly—within the same year gerrymander is also recorded as a verb. (Gerry's name, incidentally, was pronounced with a hard (g) sound, although the word which has immortalized him is now commonly pronounced with a soft (j) sound.) Gerry ran for reelection in 1812, and popular outrage directed at the flagrant use of the technique we now call gerrymandering doubtless played a role in his defeat.

gerrymandering

1. Redrawing election district boundaries for political purposes (possibly because of Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, 1812). A blackface song and dance act based on a deformed livery stable slave (c. 1833) which came to symbolize racial prejudice.
2. The practice of fixing the boundaries of electoral districts in a way that gives unfair advantage to a particular party.
Translations

gerrymandering

[ˈdʒerɪmændərɪŋ] Nmanipulaciones fpl

gerrymandering

[ˌdʒɛriˈmændərɪŋ] nredécoupage m des circonscriptions électorales

gerrymandering

n (Pol) → Wahlkreisschiebungen pl
References in periodicals archive ?
Judges and scholars are convinced that the Constitution forbids gerrymandering that goes "too far" legislative redistrictings that are too partisan, too focused on race, etc.
While much attention is currently and correctly placed on Republican gerrymandered states around this country, I wonder when these same critics of Republican gerrymandering will concern themselves with the mess that is Speaker Michael Madigan's Democratically gerrymandered Illinois map.
Partisan gerrymandering weakens citizen power, promotes gridlock and stifles meaningful reform, Governor Wolf said.
The goal of gerrymandering is to impede the will of the people by making it possible for the party with a minority of the votes to get a majority of the legislative seats.
Critics say gerrymandering has distorted American democracy.
Such partisan gerrymandering intentionally dilutes the voting strength of the minority party based on their political views and party affiliation in violation of the First Amendment rights of free speech and association, Hogan, a Republican, stated in papers filed with the high court.
A lawyer representing the League of Women Voters of North Carolina one of the plaintiffs said that although disappointed with the decision, she was optimistic that the Supreme Court would rule during its term that partisan gerrymandering was unconstitutional.
Question 2: Once a dead legal issue, gerrymandering has roared back with contradictory court rulings in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Texas, for now, will not join the list of states fighting in court over the limits of partisan gerrymandering.
The ruling by the District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina consisting of a three-judge panel rejected the previous map drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly in 2016 after a 2011 electoral map was determined to constitute racial gerrymandering, saying the map violates the Equal Protection Clause, the First Amendment, and Article I of the Constitution.
This Article challenges the basic premise in the law of gerrymandering that partisanship is a constitutional government purpose at all.
Whereas political gerrymandering consolidates political power and reduces the voting power of minorities, the gerrymandering of educational boundaries generally fosters inequities in access to educational opportunities and worsens already severe levels of racial segregation in public schools.