House OKs Congressional Redistricting Plan

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Who can you vote for in 2012? You may have to look it up.

Maryland’s new Congressional District map gets approval in the House of Delegates Wednesday after the Senate passed it Tuesday but, as political reporter Pat Warren explains, it may still have some hurdles to clear.

Members of the General Assembly crossed party lines and racial lines and toed the lines submitted by Governor Martin O’Malley that dictate who can vote for whom in Maryland’s Congressional races.

Opponents of the plan crowded Lawyers’ Mall outside the State House Tuesday, objecting to changes to the district represented by Republican Roscoe Bartlett, changes that are likely to take that Congressional seat away from the Republicans and put another Maryland Democrat on Capitol Hill.

“While we didn’t win today, we were on the side of right and, as I told the governor and his staff, the whole world was watching what was going on here in redistricting. That map is a disgrace,” said Senator E.J. Pipkin.

And the map spreads Montgomery County minority voters over three districts rather than maintaining their dominance in one. That prompted some Democrats to vote against the plan.

“I find that the increase in the African-American population in the state warrants an increase in the same representation in Congress,” said Prince George’s County Delegate Tiffany Alston.

You can expect court challenges on both counts.

The Senate has to give final approval Thursday morning.

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