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REDISTRICTING FUN

Step 1: Examine the page on Congressional Districts.


a.

What are Congressional districts?

b.

How many districts does Georgia have? In which district do you find
Alpharetta?

c.

What do you think accounts for the shapes of the Congressional


districts in the "Other Congressional Districts" section?
Step 2: Read Redistricting Game Instructions and you can access
these pages with more redistricting data.
http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-08.pdf
http://nationalmap.gov/small_scale/mld/cgd113p.html
http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/redistricting/
http://www.census.gov/population/apportionment/

a.

What is apportionment?

b.

What is reapportionment and redistricting, and when is it usually


done?

c.

What states gained Representatives in 2000? What states lost


Representatives? Answer this as well for 2010. (You can check my PPT
or some other source) How does this conform to what you learned
about areas of population growth in the U.S.?

d.

Which areas of the country are becoming more politically powerful


over time? Which areas of the country are losing power at the national
level?

e.

What are the rules governing redistricting, and who has defined these
rules?

f.

How does "population equality" guarantee "one person, one vote"?

g.

Who typically oversees the process of redistricting?

h.

What is partisan gerrymandering?


Step 3: Get ready to play the Redistricting Game. Click on Mission 2:
Partisan Gerrymander. Choose either party. In this game, you are a
state legislator representing your party. The object of the game is to
redraw your state's Congressional district lines to give your party an
advantage in Congressional elections, while maintaining the principle
of population equality. Be sure to read the following sections in the
site's Help page before you begin playing:

How do I move the lines on the map?

What are the little houses on the map?

What are the blue and red dots?

Can I move the Reps around to see the map better?

Can I undo a move?

What are the Tabs on the bottom of the map?

What is the box with numbers that appears in the left margin?

Can I remove a district?

Can I add a district?

How do I use the three tabs within the Get Feedback tab - State
Legislature, Governor, and State Courts?

How do I complete the "Get Feedback" Tab?


Once you have played a round of the game, answer the following
questions:

a.

Did your party in the state legislature successfully gerrymander a new


district while remaining within the bounds of the law?

b.

If so, how did you accomplish your mission? Which partisan


gerrymandering tactic did you employ?

c.
d.

If not, what were the impediments to success?


How did other political actors "check and balance" your attempt at
partisan gerrymandering?

e.

Do you think partisan gerrymandering is fair? Why or why not? What


reforms might a critic of this practice suggest?

f.

Print out a screenshot of your final map and attach it to your


assignment.
Step 4: Play the Mission 3: Bipartisan Gerrymander.

a.

What is the difference between partisan and bipartisan


gerrymandering?

b.
c.

Under what circumstances does the latter tend to take place?


Print out a screenshot of your final map and attach it to your
assignment.