Gerrymandering Activity Part I: The Introduction
by Adam Parry
| 4 Questions
Note from the author:
This computer program at the allows students to learn about redistricting and gerrymandering associated with the U.S. House of Representatives. This first part is the introduction to it. I have students work in groups and complete the form on the computer together, but this could easily be done individually if you have a 1:1 ratio of computers. It does not work if you are using an ipad as my school district provides need computers.
Congressional Apportionment is a process of aligning the voting districts to ensure that all eligible citizens are counted and given a political precient that will allow them to vote for a candidate. Every 10 years this process is reevaluated based upon the Census which tracks population growth and loss in each state and nationally.

We use the redistricting game:

Gerrymanding is a process where political parties try to manipulate the voting districts so that their candidate will be most able to win election to the House of Representatives.

Gerrymandering can impact who wins election in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but Redistricting in general only impacts the amount of representatives that a state has allocated in the House of Representatives.
Mission 1: This is designed to introduce you to the process of Gerrymandering. This is largely a thinking process.
a. Summarize our main goal:
b. What is the political make up of your district at the start of this activity?
Mission 1: Your decision making
c. DESCRIBE how we attempted to make more equal voting districts? What zones did you move, etc?
d. What is the political make up of your district at the end of this activity?
A. Did our plan meet with the approval of the state politicians?
B. Did our plan meet with the approval of the governor? C. Did our plan meet with the approval of the Court System? (checks and balances) D. If we failed in "C", what was the issue? E. How did we resolve this issue? Explain. F. Why is it helpful to have a "compact district"?
Gerrymandering Analysis 1. In 3-4 sentences EXPLAIN the challenges that were present when creating 1 person, 1 vote districts to ensure equality in each district.

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