The League of Women Voters of Maryland and member Leagues across the state are celebrating the U.S. District Court’s November 7th decision to require our state to redraw the boundaries of the 6th Congressional District. The Court’s decision follows one day after voters in Michigan, Colorado and Missouri voted to get rid of Gerrymandered boundaries by margins of 61%, 71% and 62% respectively.
In Maryland, the League has been pressing the Maryland legislature to pass reform measures which would see both Congressional and legislative districts drawn by an independent commission, and for mapping criteria that would require geographic contiguity, compactness, and give due regard to natural boundaries and political subdivisions. “The current process for drawing district maps in Maryland is rife with political gamesmanship that that ends up creating election districts favoring particular parties. This often results in voters choosing not to participate in what they see as a rigged system, Ashley Oleson, LWVMD Administrative Director and Commissioner on Maryland’s Redistricting Reform Study Commission said. “That is not representative of the nature of our state, which has continually sought to improve democracy with its legislative efforts, such as the recent passage of Election Day Registration, Oleson added.”
League Co-President Elaine Apter said, “The League’s number one priority entering into the 2019 legislative session will be redistricting reform. Co-President Richard Willson added “We are proud to be working in tandem with LWVs throughout the nation who are fighting for redistricting reform. It is our mission to defend democracy wherever it is threatened, be it a red state or a blue state.”