The Original Gerrymander

The term Gerrymandering refers to the act of manipulating the boundaries of voting districts to achieve some political advantage. The term was coined during tenure Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1812 redrew the voting districts for the Massachusetts State Senate to favor his own party. One district caught the attention of the Boston Gazette, who published a political cartoon likening the district’s shape to that of a salamander and labeling the phenomenon “The Gerry-mander” after the Governor.