LWVMD Testifies for Redistricting Standards
POSTED BY Beth Hufnagel· March 5, 2021
Hearings on Constitutional Amendments to Strengthen Redistricting Standards
Congressional Redistricting Standards
A hearing on setting standards for the Congressional redistricting process, HB410 Congressional Districts – Standards (Anti-Gerrymandering of Maryland’s Congressional Districts) was held on February 22, 2021. You can watch the presentation by the sponsor, Delegate Malone, the witness testimony and legislator discussion here, starting at about 25 minutes into the hearing. HRU Committee Session, 2/22/2021 #1 - YouTube
The standards in this bill are the same as those the Maryland constitution already applies to legislative districts, and we think that they are equally appropriate for Congressional districts. Adjoining and compact districts give the voters a much better opportunity to know their representatives and to engage in political discussions. Setting territorial standards in the redistricting process would help to restore the faith of voters in their elected officials.
Maryland Legislative Redistricting Standards
At the same time, the Committee also held a hearing on HB339- Legislative Districts – Standards. You can watch the presentation by the sponsor, Delegate Malone, the witness testimony and legislator discussion here, starting at about 25 minutes into the hearing. HRU Committee Session, 2/22/2021 #1 - YouTube
Election maps are adjusted every ten years after the Census to account for population shifts and ensure each district has substantially equally populations. However, since 1812 US politicians on both sides of the aisle have also used the redistricting process to provide their party with an advantage in elections for the coming decade. Using our current technology, politicians today can achieve this with unprecedented precision. This bill would attempt to remove that temptation by removing consideration of political affiliation of voters from the process.