Relationship between reapportionment and gerrymandering activity

relationship between reapportionment and gerrymandering activity

So North Carolina has to be divided into 13 congressional districts with And a bipartisan gerrymander is a redistricting meant to protect. When gerrymandering, politicians look forward to reshaping the district to be favor of them. This way, their party can have more seats in the. Questions about Congress that your students will address in this lesson: ➢ What is the history and procedure of reapportionment and redistricting in the US.

Some states forbid state officials from participating in the redrawing while other states allow it. Even when politicians do not participate directly in the redrawing of district boundaries, they do have the ability to vote against proposals they object to. As a result, the majority party, or political party in power, usually has a lot of control over where the new district boundary lines are drawn.

I am including photos of maps from a few states showing district boundaries so that you can see how convoluted some districts are drawn in order to make them advantages to the politicians in that district. The reason district lines are often drawn the way they are is to favor the political party in power.

This is not an exercise in finger pointing because both major Parties in the U. Why does it matter where the district boundaries are drawn? If you favor term limits for politicians pay attention here. If it did not matter where the district boundaries are drawn, a state would simply leave it to a staff member to draw lines as evenly divided throughout the state as possible according to population not area.

If it did not matter where the district boundaries are drawn, there would be no such thing as gerrymandering. By its definition, gerrymandering is manipulating district boundaries for political gain of one political party or another.

It does matter where the boundaries of districts within each state are drawn. It matters to the politicians in each state, and it is extremely important to the voters and citizens of each state — though most citizens are generally uninformed of this fact. Where the boundaries of a district are drawn plays a big part in determining which political party is likely to prevail in every election, especially statewide and nationwide elections.

When a particular political party is in power or in the majority, that party naturally wants to give its candidates every advantage so that the party can remain in power.

People who favor term limits should take this to heart. Once a party is in power, especially if they are in power right after a new census has been completed, that party will do everything to assure that the new district boundaries in their state will favor their own reelection as well the election of other politicians of their party.

Only the majority party can succeed with this plan, and as I explained earlier, both major U.

relationship between reapportionment and gerrymandering activity

That happens when the majority party does not have that big of a majority. It could be less depending on the circumstances at the time. If conditions are right, the minority party may be able to force a filibuster to prevent the majority party from getting their way, at least for the duration of the filibuster.

The filibuster has been used many times in the history of this country as well as by individual state legislatures to prevent passage of bills on all kinds of things. Politicians and political parties rule when it comes to redistricting In most states the legislature has the last word in where district boundaries are drawn. The majority party, or party in power, determines where those district boundaries will be, and they make every effort to guarantee their own advantage in being reelected and in electing more members of their own party.

How do they do that? They do that by making certain that the majority of voters in each district have a strong history of voting for members of their political party.

  • Gerrymandering and Reapportionment: An Explanation of Both and How They Work

We know how most states in the U. The reason a state is referred to as a red state or a blue state is because the majority of districts within that state can be depended on to vote Republican or Democrat.

By knowing that, we can often predict which states will vote for a particular presidential candidate.

Congressional Reapportionment, Redistricting, and Gerrymandering by Jason Quackenbush on Prezi

Even though it is not known which candidate a voter has cast his or her vote for, we still get a total of the results of which candidate s the majority of voters in a particular district voted for. If a district votes consistently for candidates of a particular party over a period of time, it is usually safe to predict they will continue to do so.

2.11 Congressional Reapportionment & Redistricting AP GoPo Redesign

When district boundaries are redrawn, the party a particular district has consistently favored will attempt to keep that district as much in tact as possible, adding only a small percentage of new people to that district if need be, in order to keep the votes of people added to that district watered down, so to speak.

The opposition party will do exactly the opposite with the district described in the paragraph above. The opposition party will make every effort to divide that district, splitting portions of it up between other districts that have a history of consistently voting for the opposition party.

By doing that it is possible to neutralize the votes against them and keep their party in power for a long time. In addition to knowing which way most districts will vote by their voting history, there are telephone surveys taken on a regular basis around election dates, and in that case, it is possible to know how individual people will vote.

They will not ask for your name, but they already have your phone number. Telephone surveys are fairly expensive so that whoever funds them is likely to keep every piece of information gleaned from them in a file somewhere. It is not my intention to create paranoia here, but to simply point out how things really work as opposed to the way a lot of people seem to imagine they work.

Most people look out for themselves first, and it is in the interest of politicians to know where their advantages lie. The Republican and Democratic parties came to an agreement to gerrymander the boundaries.

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It was mutually decided that the status quo in terms of balance of power would be preserved. With this goal, districts were assigned to voters in such a way that they were dominated by one or the other party, with few districts that could be considered competitive.

relationship between reapportionment and gerrymandering activity

Reapportionment has designated that X State will have four seats in the House of Representatives. One representative is then elected by each district. The next year census may determine that X State have more or fewer representatives. Therefore, the major difference between reapportionment and redistricting is that reapportionment refers to a change in the number of representatives a state is allowed, and redistricting refers to a change in voting boundaries within the state.

Gerrymandering Gerrymandering is essentially an example of reapportionment or redistricting gone rogue. When states are permitted to draw district lines in such a way that favors one party over another, it is called gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is an underhanded tactic used to lower or eliminate the chances of the opposing party becoming significant competition.


For instance, during redistricting, the people responsible for drawing the new district lines are encouraged to do it in such a way that each voting district contains more residents of their own party.

Some states actually prohibit their state officials from participating in redrawing district boundaries, and understandably so.

relationship between reapportionment and gerrymandering activity

However, even when politicians are not directly involved in the redrawing, they are still permitted to vote against any proposals with which they do not agree. As a result, even if those politicians do not directly influence the redrawing of the district boundaries, they can still control where and how the new district boundary lines are drawn, through the power of their votes, provided they belong to the majority party.

Formulas for Reapportioning Congressional Seats Complex mathematical formulas are the meat of the reapportionment process. Four different formulas for reapportioning congressional seats to the states have been used sincewhich shows just how much the system has evolved throughout history.

These four formulas are as follows: The number of members was then adjusted so that each state was awarded the exact number of seats it was supposed to get based on the previously established quota.

The total number of members was then adjusted accordingly. The formula for reapportioning congressional seats used here was originally proposed by Alexander Hamilton. Then, any leftover seats were issued to those states with the largest fractional remainders. This formula takes the remainders among the states and allocates them in such a way as to provide the smallest difference between any pair of states in a district, and in the number of people assigned to each representative.

relationship between reapportionment and gerrymandering activity

Reapportionment Act of The Reapportionment Act of was a combination census and reapportionment bill that was passed by Congress. In the bill, a permanent method was established for apportioning the set number of seats that exist in the House of Representatives today by using decennial censuses.

The Reapportionment Act of was simply a new bill, and it did not address the requirements that had been written into prior apportionment acts, which required that districts be adjoining and condensed, and that their populations be generally equal across the board. The Reapportionment Act of was not meant to act as an authority insofar as congressional redistricting.

Gerrymandering and Reapportionment: An Explanation of Both and How They Work | Owlcation

All the Act was designed to do was establish a system that would guide the House in determining which seats would be reallocated to states that saw significant changes in their population during the year censuses. However, because the Act did not offer suggestions on just how congressional district lines should be drawn, significant problems were an inevitable result. For instance, the Act allowed states to make their own rules when it came to drawing districts, which meant that some districts were larger or smaller than others.

The Act also provided for states to simply abandon the idea of drawing districts altogether, with those states choosing instead to elect representatives as a whole. States that elected to do just that include New York, Hawaii, and Washington.