Social Studies - 2019-20

GOVT.6d - Media Coverage and Influence on Elections

The student will apply social science skills to understand local, state, and national elections by 

d) investigating and explaining the impact of reapportionment and redistricting on elections and governance;

Adopted: 2015


Big Themes/Concepts: Democracy, Politics, Political Systems

The strength of a democracy is equal to the strength of its citizens.

Political parties are designed to connect people to the government and preserve the sovereignty of citizens in a democracy.

What place does the media and public opinion have in a democracy?

In what ways should people participate in public affairs?

Does the two-party system help or harm democracy?


Changes in population and resulting reapportionment have a political effect on legislative membership through national, state, and local elections.


Terms to know 

 reapportionment: Redistribution of the fixed number of seats in a legislative body (e.g., the 435 congressional seats) 

 redistricting: Redrawing the boundaries of legislative districts 

 gerrymandering: The process of redrawing district boundaries to benefit one political party or group of citizens 

Reapportionment of congressional districts occurs after each census. 

In Virginia, the General Assembly’s majority party redraws state and congressional districts. Some states have removed legislators completely or partially from the process (e.g., by using nonpartisan commissions). 

United States Supreme Court cases in the early 1960s established the “one man, one vote” principle.


Updated: Jun 22, 2017