82

Multiple, proportionally weighted, representatives per district. Gerrymandering is only an issue because a 50.001% majority for a precinct and an 80% majority are considered equivariant. We also consider 2 politicians as having equal vote on bills regardless of district size. In America; Montana has 994k people per congressman, Rhode island 1st district has ...


54

This is a rather simple mathematical exercise. If you allow me total freedom to draw districts within the current requirements, I can place anyone in any district I want provided they have equal population in the end. Connectedness in two dimensions is not enough of a barrier to stop this. In that case, my best bet is to fill as many districts as possible ...


46

"Disproportionate representation" describes the result without making any reference to the cause. For example, States have disproportionate representation in the Senate is a perfectly reasonable description. If you want to be more specific as to what kind of proportionality you're talking about, you could specify with States have disproportionate ...


39

Yes. Currently gerrymandering has no effect on US Senators. However, before the ratification of the 17th amendment to Constitution, Senators were elected/chosen by the state legislature. The state legislature, including its senators(at least in my state), have and have had districts. So, since gerrymandering started "officially" in 1812 and since the 17th ...


38

Note: This answer was written when the question was on Worldbuilding SE, the site for building consistent fictional worlds. The German System (simplified): Germany uses a form of Mixed-member proportional representation: A number of seats are allocated to individuals in first-past-the-fencepost districts. At the same time, voters cast a second vote for ...


33

Mediaeval Iceland style: Throw out the geographical restrictions entirely. Anyone who gets the backing of a certain number of people becomes a representative entitled to speak and vote at the meetings. Where those people live doesn't matter. Who the representative is doesn't matter. There are no fixed-time elections, any person can move their backing to ...


28

What does it mean that North Carolina's maps were thrown out but new ones weren't ordered drawn? It means that until the legislature redraws the Congressional districts to satisfy the court's requirements, there will be delays in the 2020 elections for Congressional seats. This is a rather detailed article from the local newspaper, The News & Observer, ...


20

While the state-wide nature of gerrymandering would make one think that it has no effect, it certainly could. Elections are run at the state level, so a state-gerrymandered election could alter that balance of power in the state legislature, which would effect things like voter-suppression measures, enactment and enforcement of campaign finance regulations, ...


18

Technically, Gerrymandering is illegal, in the United States, per Karcher v. Daggett (1983) and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The problem is that what you may consider gerrymandering is not something that an impartial court can technically say. As Tom Delay found out in in Texas in 2003, one can still get a lot of what others would call gerrymandering past ...


17

The problem here is that "one person one vote" can be based on residents rather than citizens or voters. So if you could assign people purely arbitrarily, you could fill up your districts with non-voters such that only a small number of voters are required. In theory, one voter and eight hundred thousand non-voters per district would work. Pack all the ...


16

One alternative is to let a totally impartial computer decide, based purely on census data and geography, with no details about the political (or other) makeup of the population. Brian Olsen's open source census-based B-districting algorithm aims for: Across all districts and all people, The best district map is the one where people have the lowest ...


15

The above examples are correct that current gerrymandering does not have an effect on US Senators. However, the division of territory into states itself has been alleged to be a consequence of gerrymandering, specifically in the late 19th Century the Republican party ensured that more states were created in territories friendly to their party, notable ...


15

Drop the election, adopt demarchy Vote is not the only way to reach democracy. In fact, some argues that it prevent real democracy, and lead to oligarchy, because by selecting representetives, you delegate power, because vote is sensible to corruption, because those that take part of an election want power, and many other arguments. That's why Ancient Athens,...


14

Yes, everyone complains about gerrymandering when the gerrymandering doesn't help them. To answer your questions specifically, there is an ongoing case in Maryland where the Democrats are accused of using gerrymandering to unseat Republican representative Roscoe Bartlett.


14

How did gerrymandering evolve from a practice applied by one senator in Massachusetts to something commonly applied across the US? Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts is normally considered the inspiration for the term. He was not a Senator but a governor. And he was not the source of the practice (even in Massachusetts in 1812, he only agreed with ...


14

The most interesting approach to this I've heard of was during the Alternative Vote referendum in the UK, where "oh but local representatives" was a major opposition argument. The proposal was essentially to divide the region into constituencies, and conduct a single-winner (ie put-a-cross-against-one-candidate) ballot across the whole region, and ...


14

Generally, yes. Even when a state keeps the same number of congressional districts, people might have moved around the state. Districts have to all be approximately equal in population, so when the new census figures come out the state has to make sure that they're still approximately equal. If they're not, the state has to change them so they are.


13

Drop the two party system you seem to assume, and first-past-the-gate principle. In much of Europe it is proportional representation. Gerrymandering is not usually an issue. For example, here we have X parties for any election (frequently around 20), which decide to field candidates in any given voting districts. After the election, all the parties that got ...


12

The recent Supreme Court ruling on this specific case is available. In this instance the court was split 5-4 along Conservative/Liberal lines. The majority opinion states that Partisan Gerrymandering is outside the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the conservative 5-4 majority in Rucho v. Common Cause, admitted ...


12

Are North Carolina's districts extremely common sense? You can look for yourself - the colors designate each district. Other than 2 and 4, they look pretty common sense and even those aren't particularly egregious by the (admittedly low) standard of east coast state congressional districts. Just based on looking at them and how they interact with municipal ...


12

This ruling is a preliminary injunction, not a final ruling on the case. In other words, the judges' ruling prevents North Carolina from using the maps to hold elections, but is not a ruling throwing them out (which cannot happen without a trial). From AP news The panel of three Superior Court judges issued a preliminary injunction preventing elections ...


11

No system can perfectly solve this problem mathematically, fundamentally it is an issue of aggregation and discretisation. When you aggregate a voter pool, you necessarily lose information about the individual opinions of those voters and imperfectly capture those in their representation (by party/candidate). The level you discretise to will determine how ...


10

Historically, there are two competing principles at work in figuring out districts: You want about the same population in each district This principle was enshrined in US Court law in Baker v. Carr an Wesberry v. Sanders. Malapportionment is inherently unfair. You want communities of interest not to be divided. That said, there is something to be said ...


10

Yes, it definitely could happen. The mathematical version of gerrymandering is easily expressed in integer programming, as shown here (for people who like MIPs). In its simplest version (without geographical considerations and vote uncertainty), the gerrymandering problem amounts to a simple partitionning problem. Let us assume you are a daredevil (there ...


10

The shortest term I can come up with for this result is "sovereign states are entitled to their own opinions and interests." The error in your judgement is the assumption that US States are arbitrary lines drawn on a map, and that the apparent disconnect between the ideological makeup of the Senate is just as arbitrary as the makeup of gerrymandered ...


10

Despite the potential ambiguity, "territorial representation" seems to be a generic term used for this (see quotes toward the end of my post). In the US, the equal territorial (=state) representation in the Senate is known as the Connecticut Compromise The Connecticut Compromise (also known as the Great Compromise of 1787 or Sherman Compromise) was an ...


9

Gerrymandering is the act of redefining borders between voting districts in order to gain a political advantage. The practice is named after the US politician Elbridge Gerry, who was the governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812. In 1812 he redefined the voting districts of Massachusetts. After that reform, one voting district had roughly the shape of a ...


8

Has the Republican party ever seen the same sort of disparity that is quoted in the above Reuters article on Wisconsin? Despite receiving 51 percent of the votes statewide in 2012, Democrats won only 39 of 99 Assembly seats. In 2014, Republicans won roughly the same percentage of votes statewide, but won 63 seats, a 24-seat disparity, judges wrote. ...


8

You'll have to ask K Dog. The question was about city elections, so all these answers about states' gerrymandering of congressional districts are irrelevant. Here is what he was responding to: "With the aim of explaining changes in electoral rules adopted by U.S. cities, particularly in the South, we show why majorities tend to adopt 'winner-take-all' city-...


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