Eli5 gerrymandering and how it works so successfully?


Eli5 gerrymandering and how it works so successfully?

In: 1

Let’s say there’s a voting system where most voted party gets a set per district. Say, if A gets 40% but B gets 60%, B gets the seat regardless, A gets nothing.

Now, by knowning in finer grained detailed where in the district people voted which party, you can split or rearrange districts as such that A can get an advantage even though nothing in regards to voter distribution changes. Just as to which district the votes are counted for.

Simplest in this example would be just splitting he district such that all the A voters are in a new district, and all the B voters in another. Result is now two districts, but 100% for A in one and 100% for B in both. Both get a seat and A gained a seat from nothing.

Of course, in reality, it’s quite more complex. I recommend looking at Google Image results for »gerrymandering«. The pictures there give quite an intuitive understanding.


In the spirit of explaining like we’re five, I’d like to point you to this interactive gerrymandering game, which will help you get an intuitive feel for how and why this works: [http://gametheorytest.com/gerry/game/](http://gametheorytest.com/gerry/game/)

You’ll notice that despite there often being more of one color than the other, if you’re drawing the lines, you can cause huge differences in which team controls more districts.

Gerrymandering in real life works the same way but with a team of experts, computers, and a bunch of voting records and other indicators of how people will vote.

Answer: The house is part of congress that makes laws. Each state has a number of house members based on its population. For example, New York has 26.

The state is divided into districts where residents in the district elect one house member each. The districts should have equal population, but sometimes they are drawn unfairly to favor one party over another.

For example, the drawer might put 4 cities that support the other party in one district, so they only get one house member instead of four.

Imaging your preschool class is voting on which cartoon to watch: Zootopia or Coco. 8 kids want to watch Zootopia and 13 want to watch Coco. Should mean Coco wins right?



Well the Zootopia kids decide that instead of direct democracy, the class should be divided into groups, and each group should vote, and whichever movie wins the most groups is picked. Coco kids think this sounds ok and go with it.

So the Zootopia kids put 7 Coco kids in one group, and split the remaining six in two other groups. Then they spread their own forces between these groups.




Coco wins one group, Zootopia wins two. When the Coco kids point out this isn’t fair, Zootopia kids say “tHiS Is A rEpUbLiC nOt A dEmOcRaCy” and invite them to cry harder.