End the political games on Gerrymandering


by Steve Levy

I have long criticized both major parties for the political games they play in practicing gerrymandering, the politically motivated redrawing of legislative district lines.

The concept got its name from former Governor Eldridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who in 1812, signed off on the redrawing his state's legislative district lines in a convoluted way in order to maximize the reelection efforts of his own political party, the Democratic-Republicans, and disfavor the reelection chances of the opposition, the Federalists.

One of the districts he drew was so elongated and distorted that people said it looked like a salamander. Local wits quickly re-labeled the convoluted lines as "Not a salamander, but a Gerry-mander."