He says members will draw the state legislative and congressional districts boundaries.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Governor Larry Hogan has set up a Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. During a news conference on Tuesday at the State House in Annapolis, Hogan said he established the nine-member panel by executive order, noting that he’s tried to persuade the General Assembly to tackle the issue of redistricting reform with no success. .
In his comments, the Governor said the state of Maryland has a reputation for gerrymandering. “For many years, I have been working to eliminate partisan gerrymandering,” he said. “In 2018, a federal judge called it a cancer on our democracy, and I couldn’t agree more.”
Maryland is majority-Democratic state, and Governor Hogan, who is a Republican, said the state’s political leaders have often redrawn the state legislative and congressional boundaries to give an advantage to Democratic candidates over the GOP. “It’s not just Republicans, but in addition Black voters as well, who continue to be underrepresented as a result of this same corrupt system,”: Hogan said.
The 6th Congressional District was redrawn by former Governor Martin O’Malley which excluded Carroll County and points east, and brought in northern Montgomery County. The area, which also includes parts of Frederick County, and the western counties of Washington, Allegany and Garrett, was represented from 1993-2013 by Republican Roscoe Bartlett. But Democrat John Delaney won the seat in 2012. . Bartlett has claimed that the redrawing of the 6th District led to his defeat.
During his news conference on Tuesday, Governor Hogan introduced three co-chairs of the Commission: retired US District Judge Alexander Armstrong, Jr., Walter Olson, whose with the Cato Institute and Dr. Kathleen Heterington, the President of Howard Community College. “Which will charged with preparing, fair, honest, balanced and equable maps for all of Maryland’s congressional and legislative districts,” the Governor says. “Districts that comply with the US Constitution, the federal law–including the Voting Rights Act–and with all applicable judicial discretion, direction, rulings, judgement and orders.”
The three co-chairs will pick the other six members of the Commission. Citizens who are interested in serving on the panel can apply on line at governor.maryland.gov/redistricting.
One of the co-chairs, Judge Williams, said dealing this issue won’t be easy. . “It is no secret that the issue of reapportionment and redistricting are among the hottest and most contentious issues this nation has had to address and grapple with the past several decades,” he said.
Williams also said he’s and the other members eagerly await the US Census Bureau report of the 2020 Census.
By Kevin McManus