Here’s a funny but not very surprising story from Maryland Reporter. In a soon-to-be-released study, Maryland is named the state with the “least compact congressional districts in the nation.”
Maryland’s most contrived district, the 3rd, ranks as the third least compact in the country. Now, you may be saying to yourself, Hey, what about those other two districts in the country that are even wonkier? Well, according to Maryland Reporter, “the only two districts in the country less compact than Maryland’s 3rd are North Carolina’s 12th and Florida’s 5th, McGlone said. Both of those are majority minority districts, drawn to give a minority group more clout.” So if you don’t count districts drawn with the purpose of empowering the chronically disenfranchised, Maryland’s 3rd is number one.
By the way, these districts are up for referendum in November (it’s Question 5), sharing the ballot with higher profile referendums on gay marriage, the Dream Act, and casino gambling.
For a larger glimpse at how the independent group determined relative compactness and how Maryland’s redistricting process compares with other states — and for more eye-popping district maps — read the article at Maryland Reporter.