A gerrymander refers to a method of drawing legislative district boundaries to yield an electoral advantage for a given demographic group (typically a political party). The word originates from a concatenation of the last name of the early American politician Elbridge Gerry and the third syllable of the word "salamander", a description of the geographic shape of a district that the Massachusetts Legislature created (and Gerry signed into law) to disadvantage the Federalist Party.
"In 1812, Jeffersonian Republicans forced through the Massachusetts legislature a bill rearranging district lines to assure them an advantage in the upcoming senatorial elections. Although Governor Elbridge Gerry had only reluctantly signed the law, a Federalist editor is said to have exclaimed upon seeing the new district lines, 'Salamander! Call it a Gerrymander.' This cartoon-map first appeared in the Boston Gazette for March 26, 1812." Reference:American Treasures of the Library of Congress
Media:Halifax2006.ppt Powerpoint Presentation showing the concept of gerrymandering by changing state boundaries in the 2000 Presidential Election to the benefit or detriment of George W. Bush and Al Gore, by Karl Trautman, chairperson of the social sciences department at Central Maine Community College in Auburn, ME.