From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gerrymandering is when a political group tries to change a voting district to create a result that gives them an advantage to hurt and reduce another political group's chances of winning. This can result in unfair election outcomes if successful. It is named after Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814).

Example[change | change source]

If we have Group A and Group B both trying to win in a district. Group A has 40 votes and Group B has 50. In another district Group a knows Group B will win for sure. Group A changes the voting district so that 11 votes are moved to the other district. Now they will win 40 votes to 39.

Techniques[change | change source]

There are 4 different techniques used in gerrymandering, such as "packing", "cracking", and "hijacking", and "kidnapping."

Packing gerrymandering is when a political party puts as many opposing voters as possible into very few districts, or one whole district so they have fewer chances to win in other districts. This weakens the opposition's influence in elections

Cracking gerrymandering is when a political party spreads opposing voters across many different districts to prevent them from having a majority in any district. This makes it hard for the opposition to win in elections

Hijacking gerrymandering, also known as "sweetheart gerrymandering," is when district maps are redrawn so that two incumbents (office holders, like a member of Congress) of the same party are forced to run against each other. This weakens one of them or forces them to retire, majorly benefiting the opposing party.

Kidnapping gerrymandering is when a political party moves an incumbent's home address into another district. This makes it more difficult for elections when the incumbent is in another district and has to face a different political party or voter base.