Hogan Legislation Takes on Maryland Gerrymandering

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Maryland's 3rd, which has been likened to "blood spatter at a crime scene."
Maryland’s 3rd, which has been likened to “blood spatter at a crime scene.”

Larry Hogan is looking to take politicians — including himself — out of the equation that dictates how Maryland’s political boundaries are drawn.

The Maryland governor is proposing legislation that would change the state’s redistricting process to exclude the governor and the legislature. The state has a reputation for particularly ugly gerrymandering, with Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District having famously been called a “broken-winged pterodactyl, lying prostrate across the center of the state.” We’ve seen software engineers and active citizens offer solutions.

Hogan believes the answer lies in changing the Constitution. He convened a Redistricting Reform Commission that made recommendations over the last year. This session, the governor is proposing a constitutional amendment that would put an independent, bipartisan commission in charge of redistricting.

Leaving legislators and governors out of the process would result in “more election districts being based on population, compactness, and natural boundaries, as opposed to politics and partisanship,” Hogan’s office said in a statement. The next redistricting for state and Congressional offices is set to be drawn after the 2020 Census.

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