Gerrymandering, in U.S. politics, is the practice of drawing the boundaries of electoral districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage over its rivals (political or partisan gerrymandering) or that dilutes the voting power of members of ethnic or linguistic minority groups (racial gerrymandering).
From where did the term gerrymandering come?
The term is derived from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, whose administration enacted a law in 1812 defining new state senatorial districts. The law consolidated the Federalist Party vote in a few districts and thus gave disproportionate representation to Democratic-Republicans.The outline of one of these districts was thought to resemble a salamander. A satirical cartoon by Elkanah Tisdale that appeared in the Boston Gazette graphically transformed the districts into the animal, “The Gerry-mander.”