Gerryminder is a computer-based simulation of redistricting developed by Professor Jeremy Teigen (Ramapo College) and Jeffrey Gilbertson. In this simulation, you will take over the role of the person drawing electoral district lines for your state. Like many states, yours relies on the state legislature to apportion the seats. Therefore you represent the majority party and are motivated by a desire to maximize the seats your party will win with the new map. Your district-drawing power is not unlimited, however. You are bound by the same legal rules that legislatures and commissions face in real-life:
First, the districts must be of equal population size. (Today this works out to about 650,000 people per district.)
Second, districts must be contiguous, adjoining, uninterrupted wholes—every cell belonging to a district must touch (non-diagonally) another cell of the district so that there are no “islands” of a district which are separated from the rest.
You will attempt to draw districts in two different scenarios. Instructions are provided to walk you through levels one and two, and after completing levels one and two, answer the questions below. Read the instructions here.
Using the Gerryminder tool, you can see that when district lines are redrawn in different ways, different parties win. Following the instructions, redraw districts to maximize or minimize one party’s losses.