|On March 26th, 2019 the League of Women Voters and Common Cause hosted a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court. All around you could see countless national and local League members, all proudly wielding #FAIRMAPS signs, and all eager to have their voices heard. The energy levels were high and our voices rang loud with one clear message: Let’s end gerrymandering.|
In 2019 LWVMD volunteer advocates submitted testimony on nearly 100 bills and their hard work and your support has helped Maryland to achieve some very important goals and avoid some dangerous pitfalls. LWVMD’s is grateful to be able to work together with strong coalition groups and partners on many issues in pursuing progress for Marylanders. Read about our legislative wins for 2019 below and learn about the battles LWVMD will continue to fight in 2020.Read more
Press Release - March 8, 2019
ANNAPOLIS - Today the League of Women Voters of Maryland joined as amici on a brief filed with the United States Supreme Court challenging the practice of drawing district lines to favor a political party as unconstitutional and stressing the importance of representative districts as a measure of a healthy democracy.
“For far too long we have seen politicians of both parties draw election maps that protect themselves rather than reflect the interests of the voters,” said Elaine Apter, Co-President of LWVMD. “We are encouraged that later this month the Supreme Court will review the impact partisan gerrymandering has on the voters in Maryland, who have been drawn into districts that limit their voice. It is time to end this practice and create fair maps that put the power back in the hands of the American voters.”Read more
Maryland’s 6th Congressional District is prime example of the partisan gerrymandering that occurred in Maryland after the 2010 census, the Emergency Commission tasked with redrawing it hopes its work will help Maryland find its way to enacting a more transparent, independent and multi-partisan redistricting process.
District 6 (Phil Ateto) Speaking at Benisk rally at SCOTUS in March 2018
See Media Links Below for Updated Info on the work of the Commission
While the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission) still has meetings scheduled for December 18 and 19 to finalize recommendations, we have a general idea about their priorities from the four working groups discussed at the December 6 meeting: (1) early childhood education; (2) high-quality teachers and leaders; (3) college and career readiness pathways; and (4) more resources for at-risk students. A fifth policy area for governance and accountability is being evaluated by the full commission.Read more
PRESS RELEASE: November 26, 2018
Annapolis – This afternoon the Governor announced an executive order to establish an Emergency Commission on Sixth District Gerrymandering to fulfill the order issued on November 7 by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The Governor has appointed three members of this nine-member multi-partisan commission today, including Ashley Oleson, LWVMD Administrative Director (Unaffiliated), Walter Olson, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute (R), and Judge Alexander Williams (D). Oleson stated, “I’m excited to get to work immediately to comply with the court’s order, because there is no time to waste in ensuring District 6 has a district that fairly represents their interests in 2020.”
The six remaining members of the Commission will be selected from a public application process. Two members will be chosen from both the Democratic and Republican parties, and two members will be from neither of those parties. The application process is open now at https://governor.maryland.gov/free-and-fair/. Applications are due by December 10, 2018.Read more
Press Release - November 13, 2018
The League of Women Voters of Maryland and member Leagues across the state are celebrating the U.S. District Court’s November 7th decision to require our state to redraw the boundaries of the 6th Congressional District. The Court’s decision follows one day after voters in Michigan, Colorado and Missouri voted to get rid of Gerrymandered boundaries by margins of 61%, 71% and 62% respectively.Read more
At its September 6 meeting the LWVMD Board voted to take a position in favor of a ‘Yes’ vote on ballot Question 1 and a 'Yes' vote on Question 2.
The proposed Constitutional amendment would specify that revenue from gambling would be used to supplement rather than supplant other state funding for public education. The amendment phases in specified amounts from gambling revenues that the Governor would be required to include in the state budget for public education (increasing from $125 million in fiscal year 2020 to $375 million in 2022, and an amount equal to 100% of commercial gaming revenue in all following years.Read more
LWVMD Hosts Gerrymandering for Beginner Webinar Series asking Marylanders “What Does Your Gerrymander Look Like?”
Press Release: September 19, 2018
Annapolis – The League of Women Voters Maryland (LWVMD) has launched an educational campaign on gerrymandering in light of the clock running down on the “redistricting countdown.” The campaign has begun with a series of 7 webinars entitled “Gerrymandering for Beginners – How to Make Every Vote Count in Maryland”. These webinars – running weekly from now until October 23rd – are free and open to the public - https://www.lwvmd.org/gerrymandering_for_beginners_events The events are being led by LWVMD Redistricting Advocate, Ashley Oleson. Oleson also serves on Maryland’s Redistricting Reform Commission appointed by the governor to study the issue and make recommendations on a new redistricting process for the state.Read more
07/15/18 – Frederick, MD – On Sunday, the Tame the Gerrymander coalition hosted over 50 activists and more passersby in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, the subject of the recent Supreme Court case Benisek v. Lamone. Activists gathered at the Carroll Creek Amphitheater for their mock celebration for the birthday of Elbridge Gerry, the namesake of the term gerrymandering. The event included gerrymandering-themed birthday games, speakers, as well as an Elbridge Gerry impersonator in a dunk booth.