Gerrymandering | Geckoboard


The practice of deliberately manipulating boundaries of political districts in order to sway the result of an election.


In many political systems, it’s possible to manipulate the likelihood of one party being elected over another by redefining the political districts – include more rural areas in a district to disadvantage the party that’s more popular in cities etc. A similar phenomenon known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) can occur when analyzing data. How you define the areas to aggregate your data – e.g. what you define as ‘Northern counties’ – can change the result. The scale used to group data can also have a big impact. Results can vary wildly whether using postcodes, counties or states.

Related Reading:

How the new math of Gerrymandering works: The New York Times covers a Gerrymandering case in Wisconsin Understanding the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem [PDF] The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) explained [Wikipedia]