In November, in addition to choosing the president of the United States, Maryland voters will have plenty to decide. The controversial Maryland Dream Act has already been placed on the ballot; gay marriage almost definitely will join it; and now it looks like our state’s absurdly gerrymandered congressional districts may be next.
Del. Neil C. Parrott, the visionary Republican signature-driver that put the Dream Act on the ballot — and got his party psyched about the referendum as a viable political tool — has begun a petition to let voters decide if they want to keep their congressional map looking like a jigsaw puzzle for the criminally insane, or reject it. His petition carries the compelling slogan, “DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU?”
If Parrott gathers 55,736 valid signatures by June 30, it will be on the ballot in November. If voters reject the current congressional districts either the legislature or the courts would need to redraw them, and they would take effect in 2014.
Some of you may be wondering, for all the hoopla, how bad Maryland’s congressional districts really are — compared to the other states, say. Bad. Maryland’s 2nd and 3rd made it onto Slate’s picture gallery of the 21 most gerrymandered congressional districts in the country in December 2011.