Recently, I had a project involving studying the history of redistricting and gerrymandering. In my studies, I came across what appears to be a particularly common aphorism in redistricting academia. It generally takes the approximate form of “gerrymandering means that it’s not the voters picking their representatives; it’s the representatives picking their voters!” I was curious as to when and where this phrase originated, due to its ubiquity in its particular niche. However, I was unable to find any research dating the phrase, and a somewhat exhaustive Google search (done by moving the latest search point further into the past) turned up as the oldest source I could find a FairVote article from early 2001 that says that with at-large elections, “[p]oliticians are not permitted to choose the voters, and the evils of gerrymandering are conveniently avoided...” However, this answer is not definitive by any means, and I would like a more definitive answer than “Google says so”. So, can anyone help me find the origin of this quote? Anything would be helpful.
By the way, if this question seems a bit out of place here, I would like to note that I already put it on English Stack Exchange. A user effectively stated that the question was out of place there because it mentioned something political. I disagreed, but arguing the point didn't seem worth it to me.