A History of Gerrymandering: Effects, Issues, Solutions

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Siciliano, Matthew
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Gerrymandering has been affecting the American political system since the country’s inception. To better understand the problem that it poses to democratic nations, the history of gerrymandering and its evolution through modern political machines must be understood. Likewise, being able to recognize gerrymandering and react appropriately is a skill that must be developed, and political scientists and mathematicians alike have stepped up to the task so that the public can be informed. Many studies on gerrymandering focus on specific issues and how they relate to the overall political climate at certain time periods. The intent of this article is to follow the threads of gerrymandering all the way through to potential solutions and inform the reader of where gerrymandering can, might, or does exist. I find that to understand the problem you have to know the history of it. Gerrymandering must be examined as a standalone political phenomenon as well as a factor that affects other aspects of political activity. Keywords: gerrymandering, politics, redistricting, elections