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Written  Assignment #3 Gerrymandering For this discussion, you will need to go to the  ReDistricting Game website, play the simulation, and answer the  questions at the end of this document:  http://www.redistrictinggame.org/ (Links to an external site.)Links to  an external site.     After playing the game, answer the questions at the end of the  instructions.  This game is difficult, so if you cannot get your map  completed or passed, do not worry.  Answer the questions based upon what  you learned about gerrymandering trying the game.     Make sure your volume is on to hear the introductory remarks.  Redistricting happens every ten years to make sure states’ population  growth patterns are accounted for in the number of representatives they  have in congress. However, redistricting also sets up the districts in  which you vote. When redistricting is done illegally and in a partisan  manner, your vote can be voided completely. Gerrymandering, or partisan  redistricting, ensures that one party will always win in a particular  district. The rules of the election are essentially rigged in favor of  one party over another regardless of how you vote (especially if you  vote for the party chosen to fail in that district). Many people do not  participate because they feel their vote does not count….It may not  count because of gerrymandering.     Texas has a colorful relationship with gerrymandering, and as recently  as 2003, we have had the Department of Justice rule that our  redistricting map is illegal. Redistricting in Texas is highly political  and highly partisan. Since the 2010 census and corresponding  redistricting, more lawsuits are in the process of determining if Texas  yet again is in violation of gerrymandering.     Discussion Instructions:  Click on “Play the Game.” Choose “Mission 2: Partisan Gerrymandering by clicking on BASIC. Click to continue. Choose the political party you’d like to represent. Click to continue. Read about your Mission 2 goals—what you’re supposed to achieve in  redrawing the districts. Click on “Begin Mission Two.” Use your mouse to click and drag district boundaries. Pay attention to  how the representatives react, the districts’ party percentages, and the  demographic/population stats on the bottom-­‐left corner. Remember blue  represents Democrats and red represents Republicans. Once you feel you’ve achieved your party’s goals, Click on #2 Get  Feedback. Scroll over each representative to read what they have to say.  If you have not met the mission’s goal, go back and redraw the map  again. If you have, click on #3 Submit for Approval. Keep following these steps until your map passes the state legislature,  the governor signs it, and the court approves it. Next, click on the  homepage again to start a new game. This time, under Mission #5: Reform,  find Automated Redistricting (the ″shortest splitline″ algorithm) in  the bottom right-­‐hand corner and click on Read. This is an example of a  type of redistricting reform that redistricts without consideration of  demographics or partisanship.    This is what Texas looks like when redistricting is done without  partisanship: http://rangevoting.org/Splitline2009/tx.png (Links to an  external site.)Links to an external site.     This is what actually occurred in Texas:  http://rangevoting.org/TexasRedist.jpg (Links to an external site.)Links  to an external site.       Look at how the party outcomes changed in Houston!     ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS ONLINE     After completing Mission #2 and reading about a possible reform in  Mission #5, what was the most difficult, most surprising, and the  easiest aspect of partisan redistricting?    The perspective of the ReDistricting Game is obviously that  gerrymandering is wrong. Can you think of any positive outcomes from  gerrymandering?     How might gerrymandering affect elections outcomes, polarization, or  violations of the Voting Rights Act?  What are concerns for our quality  of democracy?    Skim the following partisan gerrymandering case overviews: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/us/gerrymander-court-north-carolina-pennsylvania.html  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.  Racial gerrymandering is already considered illegal and  unconstitutional.  Why hasn’t partisan gerrymandering been determined  unconstitutional?  How might racial and partisan gerrymandering be  similar? How might they be different? Why are the courts/judges divided  about partisan gerrymandering?

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