ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order creating a redistricting commission to redraw congressional district lines in Maryland by the 2022 election.

The nine-member Maryland Redistricting Commission will be comprised of three Democrats, three Republicans and three Independents.

“Today I’m here to talk about one major step that we must take to restore fairness to reduce the bitter divisiveness and toxic politics to restore the two party system to exercise, honest debate and the competition of ideas,” Hogan said. “For many years, I have been working hard to eliminate partisan gerrymandering in 2018, a federal judge called it a cancer on our democracy — and I couldn’t agree more.”

The governor said gerrymandering has caused both Republican and Black voters in Maryland to be underrepresented.

“Nowhere has gerrymandering been allowed to run more rampant than here in the state of Maryland, where decades of unfair redistricting and the drawing of legislative and congressional districts have made a mockery of the electoral system,” Hogan said.

Hogan said former Gov. Martin O’Malley drew the lines in 2011. He said Democrats have a two-to-one voter registration advantage but have a 7-to-1 advantage when it comes to representation.

“The people of Maryland should be drawing the district lines, not party leaders or bosses,” Hogan said.

The new maps, he said, must respect natural boundaries within the state and keep the geographic integrity of an municipalities and counties. It will not take into consideration how citizens are registered, how they voted in the past or what political party they belong to.

CBS Baltimore Staff