For Unit 4 of the AP Human Geography course I decided to use the article, “How Michigan is an extreme example of gerrymandering,” by Eric Lupher. The article discusses how gerrymandering is a problem all over the United States, but some places have it much worse than others such as Michigan. Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party by manipulating district boundaries. This leads to elections being less competitive and it can lead to public distrust in our political process. Michigan’s gerrymandering has gotten to the point where the elections are not very competitive and it was one of four states who’s legislative and congressional maps were graded extreme. It also gives a bit of information on how redistricting determines what people are able to vote for.
This article ties in with Unit 4 because it discusses how gerrymandering and voting districts influence the results of elections in Michigan. This topic is in the unit and you can see that in one of the Essential Knowledges for Enduring Understanding B which states,”Voting districts, redistricting, and gerrymandering influence the results of elections at various scales.” This would make these related because gerrymandering and voting districts are heavily influencing elections in Michigan at a state wide scale. In other places in the article it also gives a small amount of information on how gerrymandering affects the United States at a country wide scale.
I find this topic troublesome because it appears to me that gerrymandering takes away the peoples’ rights. Specifically, gerrymandering means the voters have less of an impact on the government and who is elected when the people should have a huge role of who goes into government. This could lead to peoples’ distrust towards the government and I think the people should be able to trust their government. Distrust in the government could make things more difficult when passing laws or making decisions that affect the people because the people might not trust them not to leech off the citizens to benefit themselves. This article appealed to me because I had no idea what gerrymandering was or that it even existed before I read this article and I like learning new things. I also like learning about how elections happen because I don’t understand too much about how it happens and I will have to do it someday so might as well start learning a bit about it now. Another thing that appealed to me was how the government is limiting the people’s’ impact on who is in the government when I feel that that should not be happening so I figured I would like to see what was happening. To sum it up, I used the article, “How Michigan is an extreme example of gerrymandering,” for the unit 4 assignment.