Understanding Redistricting

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Teacher Guide Reapportionment Simulations

Redistricting Imaginary State Simulation

Welcome to Imaginary State, part of the United States. Choose a one of six roles described below. Divide the Imaginary State into four equal election districts based on the priorities set by your role.

The game will warn you when you have filled a district. The game will also warn you if your district is not contiguous. At the end of the game you will be able to compare your district to another possible solution to see how you did.

| Role 1 | Role 2 | Role 3 | Role 4 | Role 5 | Role 6 |

Demographics of Imaginary State
Hispanic / Latino (H)
Black / African-American (B)
White / Caucasian (W)

Political Affiliations in Imaginary State
Voting Precincts
Republican (REP)
Democratic (DEM)


  • If your redistricting plan was appealed to the courts would it meet the criteria or would it be overturned? Use the Issues Summary to tell how well you did.


Role 1: You are Nancy Bellozzo. You are a Democratic state legislator serving on the redistricting task force for Imaginary State. You are a Puerto Rican woman and the only Latino representative in the state legislature. You want to see Latinos in Imaginary State have a better chance of electing a Latino representative to Congress. You must make recommendations on how to divide the state into four Congressional districts. Play the Game ->


Role 2: You are James Lennart. You are a white Republican state legislator on the redistricting task force. You are interested in advancing the cause of Republicans at the state and national level. You would like to draw four Congressional districts that give Republicans the best chance of winning as many districts as possible. However, their is pressure on you from some of your legislative colleagues not to make it look like you are trying to gerrymander. Play the Game ->


Role 3: You are Carter Thomas. You are an
African-American man in charge of the state Democratic Party. You would like to see Imaginary State split into four Congressional districts where Democrats will be elected. You would also like to see more African-American Representatives elected to Congress from the state.
Play the Game ->


Role 4: You are Adrianna Belle. You are a Republican state legislator in favor of the Republicans taking control of as many Congressional seats as possible. You are known for testing the rules in order to win politically. You support drawing the four districts to be sure the Republicans win as many seats as possible. This may make the districts a bit irregular. However, you believe many irregular districts have made it through the courts so you will draw the lines to meet your political goals and hope the courts decide in your favor. Play the Game ->


Role 5: You are Mary Elderberry. As a longtime state legislator, as you have aged you have increasingly taken on issues important to the elderly as your central causes (Social Security, Medicare, senior housing options, etc.). You have been told by your staff demographer that Republicans have a higher proportion of persons over 65 than the Democrats. Your demographer also told you that the white population is, on average, older than the black or Hispanic populations. How would you structure the four new Congressional districts so that the candidates most likely to represent the interests of the elderly population will be elected?
Play the Game


Role 6: You are Joe Grainy, and have been appointed by the Majority Leader of the Imaginary State Senate as the non-legislator appointee to the Joint Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. Your family has been in the farming industry for generations, and while you have left the land and now study agri-business at the local university, you nonetheless have strong sympathies for the farming community and its special legislative needs. Think about the make-up of the farming community in your state in terms of race/ethnicity and likely political party. Suppose the Imaginary State Farm Bureau recently announced support for a Democratic-led initiative to provide emergency financial support to farmers suffering from the current drought. The voting is expected to be close, and is predicted to be more likely to follow party lines than most farming-related votes due to recent severe partisan debate. Structure the four new Congressional districts so that the candidates most likely to support the emergency financial support bill are most likely to be elected.
Play the Game ->

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