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MapLab: How Republicans Are Dominating the Redistricting Process So Far

A voting rights expert warns of dire implications for fair representation, especially for communities of color.

The term "gerrymander" stems from this Gilbert Stuart cartoon of a Massachusetts electoral district twisted beyond all reason. Stuart thought the shape of the district resembled a salamander, but his friend who showed him the original map called it a "Gerry-mander" after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who approved rearranging district lines for political advantage.
The term "gerrymander" stems from this Gilbert Stuart cartoon of a Massachusetts electoral district twisted beyond all reason. Stuart thought the shape of the district resembled a salamander, but his friend who showed him the original map called it a "Gerry-mander" after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who approved rearranging district lines for political advantage.

Photographer: Bettmann

If U.S. redistricting were a football game, halftime would be approaching with the winners clearly emerging. With most states having submitted or proposed new congressional boundaries for the coming decade, Republicans are set to gain at least five seats in the narrowly split House of Representatives. And the gerrymandering behind some of the new maps would leave the country more divided than ever, with fewer truly competitive districts.

For an update on the maps shaping the future of U.S. politics, I spoke with Michael Li, senior counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.