The Gerrymandered Fourth District Of Illinois

Published July 21, 2013
Updated September 1, 2017

Fourth District Of Illinois Map

Dubbed by many as “earmuffs” given its strange appearance, The Economist calls Illinois’ fourth congressional district one of the most strangely drawn and gerrymandered congressional districts in the country. Crammed into these two tiny swaths of land are a vast amount of left-leaning Latinos–primarily of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.

Some of its proponents argue that this drawing-out was done to give Latinos guaranteed congressional representation; meanwhile, its many critics suggest that this is just an incredibly dramatic example of “packing”, a term used to describe the technique of squeezing a minority into a single district so that their power is minimized and their votes don’t “negatively” affect election outcomes in other parts of town. It’s worth adding that the Hispanic population is growing rapidly in Chicago–so much so that one “guaranteed” representative in Congress might not be enough.

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