Political jargon terms often have a short life. Some may remember, but almost no one now uses, terms such as to bork or hanging chad. Gerrymander, however, is one of the more successful political jargon terms of all time, but its survival that is somewhat unfair to its namesake, Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), a signer of The Declaration of Independence, governor of Massachusetts, and vice president of the United States. To gerrymander is to draw a state’s voting districts in such a way as to give political advantage to one’s own political party, but Gerry was only tangentially and reluctantly associated with the practice.

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