End the archaic practice of gerrymandering

January 09, 2017

The Virginian-Pilot
By Kenny Alexander (Mayor of Norfolk)

GERRYMANDERING is as Virginian as Patrick Henry. In 1788, Henry tried to rig the election for the first Congress of the United States by persuading the General Assembly to shape Virginia’s 5th District so his nemesis, James Madison, would face the powerful James Monroe. The tactic didn’t work; Madison won anyway. (Somehow, this type of distorting of legislative boundaries never became known as “henrymandering.” Instead, “gerrymandering” derives from the name Elbridge Gerry, the early 19th century governor of Massachusetts.)