What is Gerrymandering?
Gerrymandering, in U.S. politics, drawing the boundaries of electoral districts in a way that gives one party an unfair advantage over its rivals. The term is derived from the name of Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, whose administration enacted a law in 1812 defining new state senatorial districts. The law consolidated the Federalist Party vote in a few districts and thus gave disproportionate representation to Democratic-Republicans. The outline of one of these districts was thought to resemble a salamander. A satirical cartoon by Elkanah Tisdale appeared in the Boston Gazette; it graphically transformed the districts into a fabulous animal, ‘The Gerry-mander,’ fixing the term in the popular imagination. — Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Can You Solve Slate’s Gerrymandering Jigsaw Puzzle?, Slate and the New America Foundation