Organizers need to collect more than 50,000 signatures.
The fight against the redistricting map in Maryland is not over. A group of lawmakers is launching a petition drive to put the map on a referendum in the November, 2012 general election.
"Maryland now will have some of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the country," says Frederick County Delegate Michael Hough, whose part of this effort. "Frederick County is split in half. Baltimore City is split into four congressional districts. Anne Arundel County is split into four congressional district. And all this is done for pure partisan political gain."
The Congressional Map extends part of the 6th District into Montgomery County. Republicans have been critical of this reconfiguration, noting that it brings in more Democratic voters. The District has been represented by GOP Congressman Roscoe Bartlett since 1993, and he has beaten back all challengers since then.
Organizers need to collect at least 55,736 signatures on a petition by late June in order to put the issue before voters in a referendum in November. Hough believes this petition drive has the support of most citizens, regardless of their political leanings. "I think that Republicans, Democrats, independents and all agree that we should have fair lines when it comes to picking our congressmen and women," he says.
Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott is also involved in this petition drive. He was part of MDPETITIONS.COM, which helped petition the DREAM Act to referendum. That law lets illegal immigrants attend college in Maryland at in-state tuition rates, if they meet certain qualifications, such as being employed or having served in the military.