BALTIMORE (AP) — Advocates are close to gathering enough signatures for a referendum on Maryland’s new congressional map.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the state Board of Elections has accepted 46,000 names after reviewing about 80 percent of the submitted signatures. State law requires 55,736 valid signatures for a referendum.

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Critics say Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s redistricting map, which was approved by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly in October, has been gerrymandered to favor the party at the expense of fair representation, while Democratic supporters contend the changes reflect demographic shifts in the state’s population.

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Donna Duncan of the elections board tells the Sun that the process of verifying the signatures could be done by the end of the week.

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