What Can Electoral Geography Tell Us? Geography of voting-explanation of patterns of voting. Geographic influences on voting-issues, voting for candidates, effects of election campaigns Geography of political parties
History I’ve got an idea. Let’s redraw the boundaries in Massachusetts to benefit… me! • Elbridge Gerry • Governor in Massachusetts(1810-1812) • VP of the United States(1813-1814) • As governor he signs a billthe approves redistrictingMassachusetts to benefit his party!
Looks like a salamander! …no, it looks like a gerry-mander!
Why do we have districts? • Electoral geography • Boundaries within the United States are used to create legislative districts • Reapportionment-Mandated by the Constitution • Redistricting-required by the Supreme Court.
Gerrymandering • Three types: wasted, excess, and stacked vote • Illegal (1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision) • Crack, pack, or stack • Let’s look at some examples.
Wasted Vote- method of spreading opposition voters across many districts as a minority.
Stacked Vote- method of linking distant areas of like-minded voters through creatively shaped boundaries.
Iowa is a state that does not have gerrymandered congressional districts.
Gerrymandering was ruled illegal in 1985 by the US Supreme Court, but didn’t require dismantling of already drawn districts.