In 1812, the majority party in Massachusetts re-drew the district lines in an obvious attempt to give themselves an advantage and allow them to stay in power. The governor, Elbridge Gerry, signed off on the new plan. The resulting map of Essex County looked rather like a salamander. Hence the name Gerry+(sala)mander. The practice has continued to be used by the party in power (in this case republican) to give themselves a huge advantage, and thereby preserve their power. Recently, in many states with a republican majority in the statehouses, the republicans are able to win more legislative seats despite the Democrats winning far more votes, overall. This practice needs to be changed by creating a truly independent commission to re-draw district lines based on the most recent census. The dominant party in a state cannot be allowed to re-draw district lines for the sole purpose of maintain power.