Learn How Political Parties ‘Gerrymander’ to Create Electoral Advantages

Elbridge Gerry, ninth governor of Massachusetts and fifth vice president of the United States under James Madison.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Haverhill Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
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Tufts University Professor Mira Bernstein discusses “Gerrymandering”—a process political parties use to manipulate districts to benefit their interests—at a forum this Thursday.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Haverhill is sponsoring the talk Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m., at the Haverhill Public Library.

The term Gerrymandering dates back to 1812 when Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry fashioned a salamander-shaped district. He was a member of the then-Democratic-Republican party.

There are two principal tactics are used in gerrymandering. One is “cracking,” that is diluting the voting power of the opposing party’s supporters across many districts. The other is“packing,” by concentrating the opposing party’s voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts.

Bernstein is on the research faculty at Tufts University and a member of the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group there. She received her doctorate in mathematics from Harvard in 1999.