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The Process of Gerrymandering

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Every 10-year electoral districts go through a process called Redistricting. This process happens to account for population changes or shifts of the earlier decade. These new districts must be approved by the representatives or state legislators, the governor, and the state courts. There are things that a district must follow to pass the process. A redistricting process must follow all these to pass the courts.

Redistricting must be passed by state legislators, the governor, and the state courts. State legislators must agree on the new electoral districts by a majority vote. Then the new districts are passed to the governor. The governor must sign off the new districts, then it will be sent to the state courts. In the courts they look at the districts to make sure there is no gerrymandering. Gerrymandering comes in many different ways. Cracking and Packing gerrymandering is sometimes used. Cracking is the “spreading like-minded voters apart across multiple districts to dilute their voting power in each. This denies the group representation in multiple districts”. (Messages from Mission 2: Partisan Gerrymander) Packing is the concentration of like-minded voters together in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts. This gives the group representation in a single district while denying them representation across districts”. (Messages from Mission 2: Partisan Gerrymander) There are two types of gerrymandering, partisan and bipartisan. Partisan gerrymandering is when the opposing party tries to gerrymander the opponent’s incumbents out of office. Bipartisan gerrymandering is when both parties make an agreement to maintain status quo. The state courts also check to make sure the districts have population equality, contiguity, census, and compactness. Population equality makes sure that the population is equal in each district. This is normally between 640,000 and 650,000 people. These new districts must have continuity. This means that a district must be in one piece or completely connected. They must have compactness or districts should not extend to far away from the center of a district. Another requirement is that it must meet a census. All these requirements make it hard to create districts to fit the needs of each party. Many party’s resort to gerrymandering to get what they want. This is why there are many steps to go through to make sure redistricting is fair for all parties involved.

The process of redistricting is a very long process. The legislators, governor, and state courts must approve it. These groups of people check to make sure all the requirements are met such as, population equality, contiguity, or compactness. They also make sure there is no gerrymandering, such as the cracking or packing types of gerrymandering.

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