Gerrymandering: How drawing jagged lines can impact an election – Christina Greer

Gerrymandering: How drawing jagged lines can impact an election – Christina Greer


Translator: tom carter
Reviewer: Bedirhan Cinar Most people have heard the word “gerrymandering” once or twice, probably during a presidential election. What exactly is gerrymandering? Essentially, it’s the process of giving one political party an advantage over another political party by redrawing district lines. It’s like Democrats trying to gain an advantage over Republicans, or Republicans trying to gain an advantage over Democrats. You see, each party wants to gain as many districts as possible so they can do things like control the state budget, or set themselves up to win even more districts in the future. So to understand how this process began, and how it continues today, we must go back to 1812 in Massachusetts. Elbridge Gerry, the governor of Massachusetts, supported and signed a bill to allow redistricting. That is, redrawing the boundaries that separate districts. The catch? The new lines would favor Gerry’s own political party, the Democratic-Republican party, which no longer exists. You see, Gerry wanted his party to win as many state Senate seats as possible. The more members of your party who vote, the more likely you are to win an election. The new lines were drawn to include loads of areas that would help Governor Gerry in the future. They were so strange looking that someone said the new districts looked like a salamander. The Boston Gazette added Gerry’s name to the word salamander, and voilà! Gerrymandering, the process of dividing up and redrawing districts to give your political party an advantage. So how exactly does someone go about protecting their own political party, and actually gerrymandering a district? There are two successful practices. Packing a district, and cracking a district. Packing is the process of drawing district lines and packing in your opponents like cattle, into as few districts as possible. If more districts equals more votes, the fewer the districts there are, the fewer votes the opposition party will get. Packing, then, decreases the opponent’s voter strength and influence. Cracking is the opposite: taking one district and cracking it into several pieces. This is usually done in districts where your opponent has many supporters. Cracking spreads these supporters out among many districts, denying your opponent a lot of votes. When you have a large number of people who would generally vote for one type of party, those folks are known as a voting bloc. Cracking is a way to break that all up. So when would a party choose to pack their opponent’s districts rather than crack them? Well, that really depends on what the party needs. To dilute your opponent’s voters, you could pack them into one district and leave the surrounding districts filled with voters of your own party. Or, if you and your party are in power when it’s time to redraw district lines, you could redraw districts and crack up a powerful district and spread your opponent’s voters out across several neighboring districts. So, Governor Gerry in 1812 wanted to gain an advantage for his party, and redrew district lines in his state in such a crazy way we have a whole new word and way of thinking about how political parties can gain advantages over their opponents. Politicians think of creative ways to draw districts every few years. So the next time an election comes around, and politicians ask people to vote, be sure to look up the shape of your district and the districts that surround it. How wide does your district stretch across your state? Are all of the districts in your state relatively the same shape? How many other districts does your district touch? But always be sure to ask yourself, does my district look like a salamander?

100 thoughts on “Gerrymandering: How drawing jagged lines can impact an election – Christina Greer

  1. why would i always ask myselvs if i dont live in the U.S.

  2. This is one of the many reasons to abolish political parties, if there are no parties it's hard to coordinate something like this and there is no real point to it either, simply put people should vote for people not parties.

  3. Who knew that salamanders could predict the next president

    AMPHIBIAN POWER
    (Or reptile I've completely forgotten)

  4. I can't believe this can happen in what is supposed to be a sophisticated democracy. At least now North Carolina has to redraw theirs. It was hideous.

  5. This is one of the ways they keep the third parties from winning, in the presidential election. Don't forget the super delicate are also one of the keys to the two party system. put an end to the electro College and use the common sense popular vote system.

  6. Let be honest is ALWAYS republicans trying to gain an advantage over Democrats.. it has never worked the other way around. Democrat don't need to cheat because they actually support policies that the majority of people want

  7. Hi, this video was amazing and I like it very much!
    I really want to make a video like this also.
    I wonder what program that you use to make this amazing video?
    Thank you!

  8. Out district looks like a gun

  9. Don't worry tho, let's play like the "Republican's vs democrat's" is a football game….

  10. Why don't we just use a mathematical formula or something to create the districts? It could prevent gerrymandering.

  11. American politics are…kind of strange….

  12. Maybe the full version is better, but I don't think this is a good quick lesson on gerrymandering. I understand the process and still found this video less than helpful, because the visual aids made it look like you had to make disproportionate districts to skew the results, and that's not true.

  13. Civil War!!

  14. The 4th district of Virginia is so cracked so a Richmond democratic could run And bot dice by braking city in half and all of the library capital

  15. and i thought uk politics sucked

  16. 3:24: Ask looks like Ash from a distance

  17. Senate seats? Don't you mean Representative seats?

  18. Governor Gerry HATED gerrymandering!

  19. Your Map is wrong up left out the entire south for the republicans

  20. Why not calculate each individual vote?

  21. Those are counties – the districts look much more ridiculous, radiating out from Boston.

  22. CGP Grey?

  23. That map is so wrong you bias freaks!

  24. If you can't even get Gerry's name right, everything else you say is suspect. Sloppy is not convincing.

  25. While this video explains the issue of gerrymandering well, it doesn't really explain the current situation at all. New technology has taken gerrymandering to an entirely new level of effectiveness. Using sophisticated mapping software, districts are now drawn in such a way that one party will always win. Unfortunately the Republicans were the first to figure this out and in 2010 they were able to redraw the districts in the states they controlled to ensure that they would always win. Because of this the house of representatives will remain under republican control until at least 2020 no matter how people vote. While it is easy to present this information in a way that doesn't offend people's political sensibilities, this is not in line with reality. What the combination of gerrymandering and advanced mapping software have created is a republican party that is able to control the house no matter how people actually vote. For more information about this, David Daley's book Ratfu**ed explains the current situation in detail.

  26. Fun Fact: Elbridge Gerry's name was pronounced with a hard 'g', like in good or pig.

  27. Sounds like electoral fraud

  28. this is literally corruption. why the fuck do Americans tolerate political corruption?

    i mean … this is exploiting power to undermine the democratic process in order to increase chances to stay in power. it's the fucking definition of corruption. why aren't they sued/indicted/mobbed for doing this?

    politicians would never get away with disgusting practices like this in (Northern) Europe. of course, we don't have a retarded district voting system anyway, wtf is that? you already have the very shady Electoral College. what's this district thing? why don't they just fucking count PEOPLE instead of fucking districts??

    seriously, America, you are fucking retarded.

  29. Dems import millions of third worlds from latin america and the middle east, that's real fucking gerrymandering.

  30. The best solution to prevent gerrymandering is multiple member voting districts, I'm surprised they didn't even mention that.

  31. And you call that democracy?

  32. America has no democracy.

  33. Jeez, this so poorly explained. like, the more you understand, the less tolerable the errors are.

    CGP Grey and Crash Course Politics and government do so much better explaining it.

  34. So that's how you rig an election. Thx Ted!

  35. I am from Slovakia. Here, in parliamentary elections proportional representation system is used. Slovak parliament has 150 members. Slovakia as whole country is single voting district with 5% threshold. So here is not possible to use any kind of gerrymandering. Each registered political party is able to run elections, party s candidate list is registered in State Election Commision, there is max. 150 candidates on candidate list, there is not any requirement for candidate in party list must be party member, he/she may be member of another party or independent. Here is question, USA have to be democracy for last 200 years, Slovakia only for last 25 years, why elections in Slovakia are more democratic compared with USA??

  36. I love the logo for the democratic-republican party u guys made!!

  37. LOL This is the story of ILLINOIS.

  38. the fuck this should be fuxking illegal

  39. THERE IS AN EASY SOLUTION COUNT EVERY VOTE THEN YOU'RE DONE

  40. Anyone in mr clarks class?

  41. My district look like a salamander, now what do I do? O.O

  42. In my opinion it should of been stop when it started

  43. They use party affiliation to do this. A good reason to register as a nonpartisan.

  44. How to stop gerrymandering: Make that YOU CAN'T change district boundaries

  45. The fact that this can happen proves how flawed the system is. It should be all about what soley the population wants not skewed and altered to give so people more of a preference!

  46. Here is how to solve gerrymandering:

    1) Create a supercomputer.

    2) Feed it with data of a few hundred voters in a certain state, who they each voted for and in which district.

    3) Using a trained neural network, the supercomputer will predict a (more representative) district for next election.

    Tip: before using the supercomputer, train the network for about 10 hours or more (this is a good amount of time, since the computer will draw better and better borders over time. Use techniques such as gradient descent to speed up the process)
    (You might understand this better if you know a bit about neural networks and training them.)

    Essentially, using gerrymandering to solve the problem of gerrymandering. And don't forget to take the power of gerrymandering away from political parties.

  47. i like this narrator!

  48. Just looking at the shape of your district doesn't actually help. Some districts are drawn in strange ways to keep demographically similar people together to make sure their representative attends to what the people want. If you want to know if a district is politically gerrymandered, look at the percentages. If a state votes 50% one party, but that party get 75% of the seats, you're looking at gerrymandered districts.

  49. this only works in republic states where people vote other people vote for them (like usa) but not in countries where people directly vote for a president (like finland)

  50. This is the single greatest cause of increased political division in the US.

  51. I liked this video because it wasn't partisan

  52. In capitalist America, you choose voters.

  53. Well America another reason you are screwed

  54. Why would gerrymandering come up during a presidential election? That makes no sense.

  55. i'll have the open-faced salamander on wry with a twist of bitter disappointment

  56. all districts should share the same population, not necessarily size as there are densely and sparsely populated areas such as cities and farmland.

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

  58. The case against gerrymandering is WAY over stated.  Part of the problem is that liberals tend to cluster in large urban areas, so democrats that carry these districts by huge margins.  But, margin of victory in Senate or House races is irrelevant.  You don't get to carry large margins into other races.  Changing  the system to be more "fair" to Dems would involve reverse gerrymandering that would appear nonsensical.  This whole thing smacks of liberal sour grapes.

  59. This is effectively unconstitutional in most democracies.

  60. This seems unanimous we should abolish the gerrymandering process.

  61. how does a party get the upper hand or who get the opportunity to pack or crack this republicans or democrats.

  62. My party would be a whole congress of dems but replublicans control it with majority due to gerrymandering

  63. The Democratic Republican Party was the worst. I mean, they’re

    SOUTHERN MOTHERF**KING DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICANS

  64. mek me teh pressdunt i knows quicc maths
    2+2 is 4, minus 1 thats 3 quicc maths

  65. omg that elephant donkey mix XD

  66. I dont understand this video

  67. Republicans can only win if they cheat.
    Republicans in 2010 redistricted the lines that give them an unfair advantage, and the Supreme Court has ruled that a lot of these districts need to be redrawn. Republicans are fighting and are filing appeals to these rulings and they know that it will take years before any final decisions by Courts.
    The U.S. has never been a democracy, from its beginnings the only people who were allowed to vote were rich, white, male, landowners.

  68. oh yeah what corrupt selections is busing people in to vote that do not live there having same day registration voting for The Dead voting for people that don't show up. And don't act like the Liberals haven't done that every election since the 1960s it's been proven. There were 5 million fraudulent votes cast in 2008. I don't think where a line is drawn is the issue. And when I was at the guy that runs TED Talks don't get back ahold of me when I want to give the conservative side

  69. Democracy means "rule of the people". People act in self interest. People lie dayly partially because of the post modern social status society we live in. People maipulate to gain influence and feel "Spceial". People communicate with each other and use power distance to gain the upper hand in "control" and rule. Thus. Democracy breads corruption. As seen here.

    Please don´t kill me for that statement. I love America. Or at least that is what i am told to say.
    Peace and love to every human living their life as slaves to the state that malipulate them to believe they can do what they want in life. I study economics. My text book states employees as MGR=Marginal Governmental Revenue. That is focked up. Don´t forget that you entered the naive jail the day they institutionised you and placed values that you hold near in your head. Now you call them your own, xenophobia and fear is used as a politial tool. We are animals don´t forget. History does repeat itself.

    But whatever man. Who am i to complain. I love the states they make me great.

  70. Elbridge Gerry's name has a hard G in Gerry. Gerrymandering was (presumably) originally pronounced with a hard G too

  71. Cali state it is

  72. How is this ok ?

  73. Pennsylvania was just busted for the worst case of Gerrymandering in the USA. Change is mandatory, whether any Party opposes it. If they would have changed this there would be a far different Congress and White House than you see now.

  74. Sounds like another problem that would, more or less, be resolved by straight counting votes.

  75. People should be also talking about this so called "Superdelegates" hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  76. Solution: 1 man, 1 vote.

  77. Here in Britain our constituencies never change.

  78. 0:32 map of Texas?

  79. I’m from ohio

  80. Sources ???

  81. Terrible system when combined with the electoral vote system's value per voter per region…

  82. i had a small stroke when she pronounce “voilà” like “wah-lah”

  83. But I like Democrats winning in my state. Without gerrymandering how is my state gonna stay blue?

  84. should i really watch this even though it has nothing to do with me? I'm certainly not an american

  85. Welcome to America, we've legalized corruption.

    Party drawn lines, lobbying, unlimited corporate spending, etc.

  86. Gerrymandering should be abolished and districts should reside at existing County lines.And for anyone that thinks the Electoral College is your enemy during elections…you Seriously need to read just a couple of paragraphs in the Constitution, of how and why this was created AND how it PROTECTS all of us….Securing each state's Right in National Elections !   The USA is a Republic …..Because Every 'Mob-Rule' Democracy in history quickly became a dictatorship. But – Politicians have done their best to manipulate the Electoral College by freezing the total number of congressional representatives… this was done almost 100 years ago.That freeze should be removed, because the Constitution clearly states that each person in congress shall not represent more than 30,000 people each !  I don't care if congress grows to 10,000 members….it's a LOT harder to Buy and Corrupt THAT many people, but fairly easy with only 435 ??

  87. 3:36 Does my district look like a salamander? 🤣🤣🤣👌👌👌

  88. Why elephants and donkies

  89. And ignoramuses in the middle

  90. STV, MMP or PR would fix this.

  91. DUDE MARYLAND IS FUUUUUUUUUUDGED it looks insane if you look at it over the years

  92. O
    So that’s how Trump won

  93. I prefer the “Talk-of-the-Town” approach. I’m from Minnesota & part of Minnesota’s Independence Party; couldn’t care less about political leanings. I’d first focus on what the geographical economy is about: mining, farming/ranching, forestry, manufacturing, & such. Next, I’d focus on Population distribution & the possible commute time(s) between work & home. And finally, refine the lines & leave not a single block nor building divided as much as possible.

  94. I've been looking for work for almost a year. I was offered a job to crunch data to Gerrymander. It took me, oh, about half a heart beat to tell them where they could shove that idea. I make a thin living doing "gig" work. Jobs that are specific in scope and time. But I'm still in my home, and I eat, and I can shave. If I took that job, I'd have to give up shaving, because I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. Just in case you wondered, I'd have done the same if it was the party I generally support. One person, one honest vote.

  95. Learn how to say gerrymandering. It’s named after Eldridge Gerry, hard G. Everybody gets this wrong.

  96. His name is pronounced like Gary, not like Jerry.
    And yes, that means we pronounce gerrymandering wrong. But the least the supposedly educational narrator can do is actually get his name right.

  97. There are so many shameless people every generation…

  98. Proportional representation puts a quick end to gerrymandering. We must abolish distorted misrepresentation everywhere.

  99. My district is gerrymandered to dilute the democratic votes in our area by stretching out to more rural republican areas.

  100. Laughs in Proportional System

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