(CNN) – All this week, we're using the full resources of CNN to look at Washington gridlock in our special series, "Broken Government."
Today, we're investigating gerrymandering. It's an old political trick, but simply put, it means dividing up local voting districts to give one party or another a political edge.
The way these lines are drawn can swing entire elections. One example is Maryland's second district. At its longest point, it's about 50 miles. At its shortest – about 1,700 feet.
One possible solution is to bring in independent commissions to re-draw districts. But how likely is that? We sent our Jason Carroll to California to find out.