In this most contentious of times (which unfortunately repeats itself every 4 years!) I remembered an odd word from middle school/high school history classes. While I remembered that it had to due with redrawing voting district boundaries, often in an attempt to weight the outcome in favor of one party or the other, and that is was a take on someone’s name, I didn’t remember much else. SOOO, hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Wikipedia for answers!
Here’s what it had to say:
The word gerrymander (originally written Gerry-mander) was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette on 26 March 1812. The word was created in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under Governor Elbridge Gerry (pronounced /ˈɡɛri/; 1744–1814). In 1812, Governor Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander.
The original gerrymander, and original 1812 gerrymander cartoon, depict the Essex South state senatorial district for the legislature of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Now, that must have been some election!