The 10 Most Gerrymandered Districts In America

We are currently living in the Golden Age of Gerrymandering. Some boundaries today would make even Governor Elbridge Gerry blush. The following are the least compact Congressional districts according to geospatial firm Azavea.

The Original Gerrymander

Via Wikimedia Commons

“Gerrymander” comes from this Massachusetts State Senate district. Approved in 1812 by Governor Gerry, the district was thought to look like a salamander. And thus began one of the great American political traditions…

(No Cook PVI’s back then, but it was drawn to favor the Democratic-Republican Party)

10. NY-10

You know, because the Upper West Side has more interests in common with random parts of Brooklyn than the Upper East Side.

9. MD-6

This district is partially due to the odd shape of Maryland itself, which we can blame on the Mason-Dixon line and the Potomac. That being said the district itself is still not very compact. The fact that there are eight districts ranked higher on this list that don’t have an odd state boundary as an excuse is a testament to the artistic abilities of gerrymanders everywhere.

8. FL-22

If you’re a fan of gerrymandering you can argue that this new district map caused Congressman Allen West to switch districts, and then lose reelection. Unless you are Allen West, in which case, I guess you can’t be redistricted out of a Senate seat.

But really…wtf?

Someone should write a love story about the separated parts of Boynton Beach.

7. LA-2

Like a crescent moon, it seems easier to reach the two opposite points by going around the other edge of the circle.

6. NC-4

It’s southern portion is connected to the college communities in the north by a 500 foot-wide section of the Cape Fear River. But surprisingly (spoiler alert) its not even the most gerrymandered district in North Carolina.

5. TX-35

One of Texas’s four new Congressional districts, this one was created out of parts of six other districts and it sure looks like it.

4. OH-9

Although it is only connected by a small stretch of beach that apparently isn’t connected at high tide, and although it was specifically designed to pit two Democratic incumbents against each other, it does have the coolest nickname. Ladies and gentlemen, “The Mistake By The Lake”.

3. MD-3

I’m convinced that we should use district boundaries for Rorschach tests.

2. FL-5

There was an appeal filed against this district boundary arguing that it is an example of “racial packing”, lumping minority voters from disparate neighborhoods into one district.

1. And the worst district of them all…NC-12

According to Azavea, if you were to drive from one major city (Charlotte) in this district to the other (Greensboro) using the major highway Interstate 85, you would cross in and out of the district four times.

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