Gerrymandering and Political Redistricting in the United States

Important Instructions:  Read the lecture notes titled “Redistricting, Gerrymandering, and Electoral Geography”, the web links associated with this assignment, and other sources of information about gerrymandering, political redistricting, and majority-minority districts to write an essay about the question indicated below.  Write your essay in a detailed and organized manner by addressing all of the issues raised in the assignment.  Your essay should be more than 500 words, double spaced, using standard margins and fonts).  Your essay should be uploaded to the designated folder under assignments before the deadline. Cite your references appropriately. Plagiarism is not tolerated in this course. Include a works cited page where you give for each sources you use the author’s name, title, place of publication, name of publisher, and date of publication. When citing books or articles in the body of your essay, you may use a short form: (Smith 2003, p. 23). Be sure to give page references for direct quotations or specific statements. Question: The drawing of congressional district boundaries is critically important to democratic governance. Identify a gerrymandered district in your home state or adjacent state and answer the following questions related to the issue of gerrymandering in the United States. A. Explain the process of congressional redistricting in the United States and the different forms of gerrymandering and their effects on legislative boundaries and U.S. politics. B. Having identified a gerrymandered district in your home state or adjacent state, i. Discuss the racial, economic, religious, and ethnic characteristics of the district that may suggest a particular party affiliation. ii. Identify the major political party that was in power when the boundaries were drawn and which party the boundaries favor. iii. Discuss if the boundaries were drawn to dilute or concentrate opposition votes in nearby districts. iv. Discuss the impact of gerrymandering in U.S. elections and politics. C. Discuss racial gerrymandering and address the pros and cons of this practice. D. Provide geography-based solutions for drawing voting districts that provide fair representation for all. *Please note that you should include the map of the gerrymandered congressional district of your choice in your essay and all sources consulted and graphics included must be properly cited. Useful Links http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/15/americas-most-gerrymanderedcongressional-districts/ https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/whitey-s-america-by-david-peterson/ http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/The-Mapmaking-Mess.html https://ballotpedia.org/Majority-minority_districts http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/majority-minority-districts-are-products-ofgeography-not-voting-rights-act/

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