In the United States, each sta…
In the United States, each state is divided into a number of districts proportional to the population of that state.
Within each district an election is held every two years; it is the winners of these elections that compromise the U.S. House of Representatives. Every ten years, in response to the national census, the states are re-divided into districts to ensure equal representation in the House of Representatives; which is called redistricting. Redistricting also has a crucial impact on the outcome of Congressional electoral campaigns. But the majority of the states have implemented no redistricting reforms while others have adopted “reformed” systems that allowed continued legislative control of the progress. Gerrymandering is defined as the establishment of boundaries 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 re-election incumbents or for a party in power of a win more seats in an election than the number to which percentage of the total vote properly entitles it. But this only subverts the will of people since it denies them the amount of voting power that they are entitled to. Gerrymandering is practiced at all levels of the government where there are electoral districts that have single members including country councils, city councils, legislatures and many more. Patrick Henry, of the Anti-Federalist party, strategically created the boarders of the fifth congressional district to ensure that one noted federalist James Madison would be unable to gain a congressional seat. The original gerrymander, although unsuccessful in attempt to make James Madison from being elected, setting the stage for a method political incumbents would go on to employ for the next three centuries to get to their opponents.
Senator Guy Velella, as well as other state senators in New York, are prime examples of politicians exploiting gerrymandering to manipulate the outcome of elections and to improve their outcomes. Riker argues that these bold uses of gerrymandering are made possible, and even encouraged, by two landmark supreme court cases. Baker v. Carr and Reynolds V. Sims were two similar cases from the 1960’s that addressed the unequal representation caused by unwillingness of politicians to adjust the electoral districts to accurately reflect the major population changes of the twenthieth century. Baker V. Carr and Reynolds V.
Sims had forced congress and the state legislatives bodies to correct this inaccurate political representation by mandating equally sized voting districts. In fact, Reynolds V. Sims went so far as to require a voting population difference of no more than a ten percent between the largest and smallest electoral districts. Futhermore, a judicial requirement that African-American voters be districted in a manner that will allow for the election of African-American representatives was an open encouragement by the courts to gerrymander. Politicians manipulate these well-intentioned rulings, which had sought to improve political representation, and to aid their goal of holding on to their elected positions and maintaining a grip for power. An examination of the practice of gerrymandering reveals that politicians are devious manipulators, who will exploit the supreme court rulings and the resulting equal representation rulings to ensure the re-elections. Gerrymandering has many negative voters who will associate with the elector cheating, is not a manipulated tactic because it can result in a voter backlash against the gerrymandering politican.
Riker states that gerrymandering can shift the skeptical advantage of the “outs”, who may capitalize on the voter resentment to steal the seat from the incumbent. As a potentially damaging tactic, and one that can be explained by the court order redistricting, on of many attempts to paint gerrymandering as a tactic that is not all manipulative. If gerrymandering were not calculated by manipulation of the political districts to favor the incumbent, the shape of the districts and voting blocs would be more logical and commonsense, and they would not result in especially favorable or unfavorable voting regions. In conclusion, I believe that politicians are manipulators, as evidence of the gerrymandering.