The Effect of Gerrymandering

There are many ways to change the results of an election. You could start a campaign, volunteer at polls, even put signs in your yard. People have one vote each, no more, no less, and a citizen not being able to apply their vote, their opinion, to an election is not okay. Everyone’s opinion should count. Sadly, many people have found ways to manipulate the results of an election, so that it turns out the way they want no matter what the public thinks. This is called gerrymandering, and even though it’s a highly debated issue, people still do it.

Gerrymandering is when a political district map is redrawn, or reorganized to help a certain party in the election. In the past, maps have been redrawn to support white candidates and not represent ethnic minorities.

There are two ways to gerrymander. One way people manipulate the election is by doing what’s called cracking. Cracking is when you redraw the map so that the opposing party’s votes are spread out on the map, so each district has less of the opposing party’s votes then the one they are rooting for. This makes their votes less powerful, even if they had more votes altogether. Another gerrymandering tactic is called packing. Packing is redrawing the map so that the opponents supporters are put in less areas. That way, the other party can have control of more areas. A map that has been packed will have long, twisting boundaries. 

People gerrymander so that they can win in the coming election. Gerrymandering is mostly done by courts or legislatures that are in office to keep political dominance in their party. It isn’t exactly illegal, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair.

One example of gerrymandering was in 1996. Texas used advanced software and data to redraw the district map based on race. Because Hispanic and African-American districts were created by race, it put them at a disadvantage. Luckily, the Supreme Court said it was a case of racial gerrymandering.

In conclusion, gerrymandering is, in my opinion, bad and is unfortunately, still happening. What do you think?

-Diya V.

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