Gerrymandering

1061 words 5 pages
English 1101
January 22, 2014
Gerrymandering
Gerrymandering is defined as the establishment of boundaries of voting districts with the main objective of determining the partial or complete outcome of elections. Gerrymanders are designed with the main objective of insuring the defeat of specific individuals or electing political allies. There are a number of objectives of gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is usually carried out in order to allow for the reelection of incumbents or for the party in power to win more seats in an election than the number to which its percentage of the total vote properly entitles it. This only serves to subvert the will of the people since it denies them the amount of voting power that they are entitled
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During the gerrymandering process, some forms of political uncompetitive behaviors are expected as the legislators struggle in order to reduce the political threats and protect their incumbency (Weaver 99). It is one among the many tricks that legislators use in order to hang on to office. Every 10 years as the legislators in the country draw new congressional districts, they also draw up their own districts. This process has worked well for many of the politicians. The New York Public Interest Research Group reports that more than half of the legislators were reelected after getting 80 percent of the votes in their districts (New York Times, 2009). During the most recent elections held on 6th November this year, the republicans outperformed the democrats because of gerrymandering. The democrats can only make big gains in the house in the year 2022 when the process of gerrymandering will be carried out (Snider, 2012).
One of the worst examples of gerrymandering is the upstate district that was headed by Senator Elizabeth Little, a republican. Even though each district requires the same population in order to give or take 10 percent, the partisan mapmakers found ways to fiddle with these numbers. Each district needs about 300,000 people but this district had 299,600 people during the last gerrymandering that happened in 2002. The district had about 13,000 prisoners in the 12 prisons across the district. Given that prisoners do not vote, it

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