Essay on Gerrymandering

1064 WordsFeb 3, 20145 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…show more content…
The resulting districts are normally referred to as gerrymanders and they are composed of pro-incumbents and partisans. Partisan gerrymandering involves the redrawing of political lines in order to favor a given political party. Incumbent gerrymandering involves the redrawing of boundaries in a bipartisan manner that is aimed at benefiting the incumbents on both sides of the aisle (Snider 2012). The gerrymandering process allows the majority party within a given state to maximize the number of seats it can win in the future elections. This leads it into creating as many districts as possible where it constitutes the majority. By doing this, those who support the minority parties are packed into the remaining few districts. This results in more electoral security for the minority party and less electoral security for the members of the minority parties. It also produces greater homogeneity within the districts while reducing competition for the house seats. Apart from the positive effects of gerrymandering, there are a number of negative effects associated with partisan gerrymandering. This process results in more competitive districts when compared to the non competitive districts and this in turn ambiguously affects polarization. Partisan gerrymandering also affects the state legislative electoral competitiveness as it has severe partisan biases. Excessive partisan gerrymandering is the violation of the equal protection clause since it consigns the
Open Document