Maryland Governor Forms Redistricting Reform Panel

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Drawing new lines. Governor Hogan orders a commission to look at how the state’s congressional districts are drawn.

Pat Warren explains why some feel the current map crosses the line.

Governor Larry Hogan is taking on the Maryland congressional map drawn after the 2010 U.S. Census. For years, activists have accused the Democrat-dominated state of drawing district lines to make it even easier for Democrats to get elected.

“It’s about encouraging fairness, checks and balances and refusing the partisan politics used to suppress any real competition of ideas or any honest debate,” said Governor Hogan.

Western Maryland had a Republican congressman for 20 years, but in 2012, lawmakers added a chunk of Montgomery County, tipping the balance in favor of Democrats, who now hold the seat.

But that looks simple compared to District 3 — a single congressional district that includes parts of Howard, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and a big chunk of Baltimore City.

“There was a time not too long ago when Maryland was represented by four Democrats and four Republicans–perfect balance. After two cycles of redistricting, this state now has seven Democratic members of Congress compared with only one Republican,” the governor said.

Hogan’s own home, Anne Arundel County, is represented by four members of Congress.

“They would love to have a congressman from Anne Arundel County, that represents Anne Arundel County. They’re big enough to have one. They’ve been carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey,” Gov. Hogan said.

Hogan wants to put a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to change the way districts are drawn.

The commission’s work starts now.

Congressional districts are redrawn every ten years to reflect the changes in population based on the United States Census.

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