What Is Gerrymandering?

What Is Gerrymandering?


In April 2015, House Democrats proposed a
bill to end the practice of “Gerrymandering”. Before we explain what that is, imagine an
election where one party gets the most votes, but because of the way the votes are grouped,
the other party wins the election. Doesn’t really seems like democracy, right? Well,
this sort of “vote grouping” occurs in nearly every state. And it helps incumbent
parties maintain their power in the legislature, even in cases when the majority of people
don’t want them there. So, what exactly is Gerrymandering, and how does it work? Well, every state has a certain number of
congressional districts, depending on the state’s population. Every two years, voters
in those districts elect a single Representative to Congress. Every ten years the boundaries
of these districts may be redrawn to represent the changing population. Gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing
congressional districts in order to group all of an opposing party’s voters into a
few large districts, while grouping all the controlling party’s voters into many smaller
districts. Since each district gets a single representative, regardless of size, you end
up with drastically unequal representation in Congress. You can see Gerrymandering in practice by
looking at North Carolina’s 2012 House elections. The results showed about 50% voting Democrat,
and 48% voting Republican. However, only four democrats were elected, compared to 9 Republicans.
It is probably unsurprising that North Carolina alone holds three of the most gerrymandered
districts in the country. But how can this practice be legal? Well,
in 1986, the Supreme Court ruled that the practice could potentially violate the 14th
Amendment on Equal Protection. However they could not agree on a standard for what actually
constituted Gerrymandering, or figure out an alternative solution. In 2004, the Supreme
Court revisited the issue, this time saying that the problem was unsolvable. Since the
court could not rule one way or the other, it could not be ruled unconstitutional and
is therefore still technically legal. Gerrymandering has long been understood to
stand in the way of true democracy, while helping partisan politicians consolidate power.
Currently the Supreme Court is examining the issue of constitutionality of using independent
groups to draw district lines, instead of biased legislators. Some have pointed to the
Republican congressional victory in 2014 as a direct result of Gerrymandering.  States
like Pennsylvania voted nearly half Democrat, but only got about a quarter of the available
seats. One of the anti-Gerrymandering bill’s sponsors put it best: instead of voters choosing
their representatives, representatives end up choosing their voters. Political parties in America are also preventing
people from voting with a number of other somewhat scary tactics… To learn more about
this serious issue, take a look at our video here. Thanks
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99 Comments on "What Is Gerrymandering?"


  1. My name is Jerry. Are they trying to stop me from me-andering about, and enjoying my retirement? I like that The Supreme Court said it was impossible to stop me from being me.

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  2. Another great title for this video would have been "Why no one should care about voting because it doesn't effect anything."

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  3. All Voter ID does is make sure dead people do not vote, to call it "disenfranchisement" is silly.

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  4. "unsolvable" pfff half them assholes probably got through to where they are by gerrymandering if you should just divide it up equally among the population in those areas they know how many people are living in these areas and where (they would know if it had anything to do with taxing people) just do it by population rather than area and states should only be given certain amount of seats according to the size of population its all math and area if you just hire a mathematician with all those millions they burn every day it would be solved so easily    
    but i know for a fact they can solve the problem but choose not to because why would they get rid of there secret trump card to win seats for themselves

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  5. Gerrymandering — just another evil despicable act offered by the soulless republicans.   Oh,  and wait theirs legalizeing discrimination , voter suppression , staffing agencys , 3rd party blocking , just to name a few .  The evil iz just non stop with theez brainless soulless republicans.

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  6. "doesn't really sound like democracy right ?"

    Reminds me of a famous election in 2000…

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  7. Um, WA is an extensively gerrymandered state in democrats favor. So, no, they aren't practicing democratic ideals.

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  8. Abolish districts all together and count votes in totals. One with the most votes wins… To someone from a country who already counts this way its very hard to explain why you make voting so needlessly complex…

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  9. Senate seats aren't broken into districts, so the Republicans couldn't have won the 2014 Midterms via Gerrymandering because there is no way to Gerrymander Senate seats without changing State borders. Which did not occur.

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  10. Typical Left wing bias reporting and racism. The whole thing about Gerrymandering came about in order to create minority districts for Blacks originally and then Hispanics too. Because minorities vote at lower rates than Whites minority districts need to be 80% minority so that the minority always wins. The minority districts end up being very Gerrymandered to get 80% of a minority. 
    Notice how the reporters only reported on Gerrymandering of small states with favoring Republicans but did not mention the worst Gerrymandered state, California, which has more Congressional reps than all those small states they mentioned. In California Congressional voting. Republicans get 45% of the vote but only 20% of the Congress people.

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  11. This "report" is heavily slanted by the fans of the Democrat party.
    Gerrymandering is happening in Oregon an d California where it is abused by Democratic party…  The fact is that the system is screwed up and both parties are abusing it.

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  12. That's because Republicans know they can't win future elections if it were "fair" so they have to stoop this low to keep their seats in Congress despite the fact they are the most corrupt and most idiotic form of government in the history of the U.S.

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  13. How about proportional seats without electoral district boundaries? Don't you realise local representation is a a lie? That doesnt exist because politicians are more concerned about personal gaining than comunity helping. Also, gerrymandering is against democracy.

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  14. This video seems to imply that this is the Republicans are the ones at fault.  Look at California in the 60's and 70's where Willie Brown drew the districts.  With the majority of State Senate and Assembly, now the Dems want to look the other way when illegal aliens cast votes.  I am sure the Dems would demand voter ID if illegal aliens voted GOP.

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  15. So the Big Bad EVIL Republicans are using Gerrymandering to phase out and repress the honest, underrepresented, politically persecuted Democrats who represent more of the population than acknowledged? Ok, TestTube, ok.

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  16. One measure we could take to make gerrymandering more difficult would be to simply increase the number of Congressional districts.  They have been frozen at 345 for far too long.
    Let's go to 2,000 districts, or even 10,000.  With modern telecommunications, the entire House would not have to gather physically in one location.

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  17. More facile reporting from TestTube.  Gerrymandering must first be defined before it can be opposed.  As it stands, it's simply a motive of those who have the mandatory task of drawing boundaries. You can't legislate against motives, because you can't prove motives. CPG Grey acknowledges these motives and seeks not to eliminate the problem, but to mitigate it using incentives.

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  18. Both parties have been doing this for decades.  Hell, half the reason there is so much extremism in Congress now and for the past few election cycles is because of this practice.  Extremism is the only way for many incumbents to keep power because before they can run in the general election to keep their seat, they have to win their party's primary where being a sensible moderate politician doesn't always cut it as effectively as being a full-on right or left wing hardliner does.

    Also worth noting is that last year the Republicans tried to do away with the "winner-take-all" method of the electoral college, so the Democrats aren't the only ones trying to get more people representation.

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  19. We do not live in a democracy.  We are a republic.  All states have 2 senators regardless of population.  Districts are redrawn in all states some favor republicans and some favor democrats.  North Carolina Senator Kay Hagen lost her election to a republican so the argument about that state is void.

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  20. funny how they didn't cover states that use gerrymandering to suppress republicans, just democrats.

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  21. It's funny how she mentions "…biased legislators" at 2:09 but this video and channel are so biased that it is really unbelievable, how ironic.

    Republican victory in 2014 is a direct result of gerrymandering, really? How about a direct result of bad policies on the Democrat's side?

    FYI the US is a Republic and not a Democracy.

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  22. Gerrymandering is fucking bullshit. Stupid ass old GOP trying to hold on to their party as long as they can. News flash GOP socialism is coming to america and its about god dam time.

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  23. Uhh… well this is a GOOD thing. You see if you have half the population living in cities, and they all vote democrat for some reason, it prevents them from dictating the majority of the region who say may not live in the city and vote republican for some reason.

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  24. I don't even agree with actual democracy, but if the US is going to claim to be a democracy then it needs to do something about this!

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  25. Both parties are guilty of Gerrymandering so don't just make this a Republican only problem. The Supreme court should get off their ass and make a decision on this

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  26. It doesn't sound like a democracy cuz the U.S. Is a constitutional republic… Smh and I'm Chilean and know this…

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  27. I remember reading in the paper about this happening in Texas as well in the last few years. It's messed up. I hope it can be made illegal soon.

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  28. Like Zinn wrote in his book A People' History of the United States, the country was founded by the controlling elite and still to this day, not much has changed.

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  29. Crazy idea. establish an independent electoral body such as the AEC in Australia who are responsible for redrawing electoral boundaries and running elections. Doing this would instantly resolve some of the US' many democratic flaws.

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  30. Gerrymandering is mostly a Republican manipulations region if you do the math Republicans that use this method are at a percentage point of 98 compared to 2% Democrat manipulation of gerrymandering in United States. If you look at the 2015 blue collar stats in the US there are now regional in parts of the red states County lines in other words it blew up like wildflowers all over the country. It should have been the other way around red regional areas should had merging into the blue when there's a downfall massive job loss throughout state to state. This is an indicator when manipulation is took full charge when middle class votes will be deluded and tossed out as an absentee no shows. This clever operation can work very well for the Republicans and probably get somebody like Republican Donald Trump into the White House.

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  31. "True Democracy" – We don't want true democracy. Most people are unfit to govern. Poor people for example. The more successful you are in life the more your vote should count.

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  32. This video is skewed, it makes you think that only Republicans and doing this. Look at Maryland and the 3rd district, it is the worst drawn districts favoring democrats. Why doesn't this video talk about that, come on Test Tube, play neutral like the media is supposed too.

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  33. how bout we dont vote by district or however it is, and instead we vote and our votes count individually electronically. and also how about we dont pay governmemt officials if they dont do their job in a timely manner. maybe theyd argue less and get more things done if they knew they werent gunna be paid for wasting time.

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  34. Funny how this video makes it sound like this is a Republican cheat or something, but this is exactly how California stays in control of Democrats.

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  35. Support the RIGHT to be represented by the person of your CHOICE. Its called CHOICE OF REPRESENTATION. Read about it. https://m.facebook.com/notes/bill-of-rights-for-voting-equality/explaining-choice-of-representation/702111033171330/

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  36. I just watched a video about the electoral college. The electoral college and gerrymandering are the same thing! Sot of. They both give elections to candidates who did not win the popular vote.

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  37. Have a question for the editor of this channel: are you partisan or bipartisan? (please no specifics)

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  38. well of COURSE this system doesn't make sense to anyone who understands that we are NOT a democracy but a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC!!

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  39. What about the Democrat strategy of bringing in millions of criminals into your country, who will then vote for you?

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  40. Very informative, but I was hoping for some more graphics. Preferably ones that physically show the redistricting of congressional lines back-to-back.

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  41. You keep saying "true democracy". America is NOT a true democracy, it is a representative democracy.

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  42. You know, aside from all of the other possible solutions to Gerrymandering, it could just be ruled or a law could be created that Gerrymandering officially occurs when "the proportion of popular votes for one party compared to another is more than 1 representative different than the proportion between the representatives for each party" or "if the popular vote favours the party with the fewest delegates by more than a certain specific percentage of the population of the state" then Gerrymandering has officially occured. Something like that is objectively verifiable and could be used to

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  43. Amazing how this entire video was spun as if all gerrymandering was always against democrats. As if they weren’t just as corrupt as the republicans.

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