October 2017 Bar Bulletin
By Gregg Bertram
Gerrymandering has come to the forefront during a time when the integrity of the voting process itself is under fire. The term gerrymandering is named after a former governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, who was described by biographer George Athan Billias as a “nervous, birdlike little person.”
His primary claim to notoriety was a single impulsive act. While he was in office in 1812, Gerry reconfigured a voting district in the apparent shape of a salamander. The redistricting was intended not so much to favor his party, the Democratic-Republican Party, but to weaken the strength of the opposing Federalist Party. Over time, the salamander...