ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for an “emergency” nonpartisan commission to redraw Maryland’s 6th District after a federal court ruling found gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries.
“The U.S. District Court ordered the state of Maryland to redraw the Sixth Congressional District boundaries on the basis of compactness and geographic continuity, and with regard for natural boundaries, boundaries of political subdivisions and geographic and other communities of interest, and without considering how citizens are registered to vote or have voted in the past or to what political party they belong,” the executive order states.
This comes hours after The Washington Post editorial board called for a nonpartisan group to redraw Maryland’s electoral map.
“In fact, an overwhelming majority of Marylanders, Democrats as well as Republicans, prefers that a neutral party, not politicians, draws the electoral map,” the editorial board stated.
In Maryland, Democrats were in charge of the last controversial redistricting.
Some Republican voters had sued over the district’s boundaries, claiming state officials unfairly redrew it in 2011 to favor Democrats. The U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the case before referring it back to a lower court, effectively allowing the 2011 map to remain in place for the recent midterm elections. A Democrat won the district’s open seat.
The commission would draw new boundaries for the district by April 2.
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