The Palm Beach Post Editorial BoardNovember 8, 2021
In 1812, Massachusetts Gov. and American Founding Father Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that created a Boston legislative district in the shape of a salamander, to benefit his partisans. Gerry (a year later, James Madison’s vice president) thus founded the pernicious legacy of gerrymandering that contaminates our bodies politic to this day.
Two-hundred-nine years later and 1,313 miles away, political leaders in Tallahassee this fall are convening to redraw Florida state and congressional district maps. The political boundary adjustments are required by law every 10 years, to accommodate changes in the U.S. population.
It’s a perfectly appropriate process, particularly in Florida, where the population grows steadily and the size of many demographic groups rises and ebbs like the tides. Political and financial travails send us new citizens from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Central and South America. High income taxes in the Northeast and a love of Florida shores and sunshine send us New Yorkers and Canadian converts.