Yes, these districts are an insane tangle of convoluted shapes that resembles the last game of Tetris you see right before your Game Boy's circuit board dies. So is this all just really sloppy mapmaking? Was the district map drawn by a man with a Sharpie clenched between his butt cheeks?
Nope. Some of you who know this politics stuff recognize this as gerrymandering -- the trick by which parties game the system to keep their people in power. What you may not realize is how profoundly this utterly thwarts everything the system is supposed to be.
As a result of this border fuckery, U.S. congressional elections are among the most uncompetitive in the world. In 2000, a whopping 98 percent of congressional seats were held by incumbents. That makes congressional races roughly as competitive (and fair) as rigged dictatorial elections.
That's because these tangled districts are all about making sure it is nearly impossible for most congressional seats to change parties. See, nowhere in the rulebook does it say exactly how the districts must be drawn, as long as they're connected. So, the party in power simply finds all of the most loyal voters on the map and draws the district around them. That's how we wind up with the complete madness that is Illinois District 4:
Yes, all of the green is one single district.