Statement from Common Cause Maryland and the League of Women Voters of Maryland on Governor’s announcement today on redistricting reform:
Today, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he would veto SB 1023, the General Assembly’s proposal for redistricting reform. The Tame the Gerrymander coalition believes this veto gives both the legislature and the Governor another chance to work together to craft a strong, meaningful reform that will ensure Marylanders have the fair process they deserve.
It was encouraging to see the legislature take action in response to the concerns an overwhelming majority of Maryland’s electorate have over gerrymandering in the state. While SB 1023 contained solid reforms and had many similarities to the Governor’s own redistricting reform proposal, the enactment of those reforms hinged on five other states (Virginia, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) passing their own redistricting reforms first. This trigger provision set an impossibly high bar to achieve reform in the state. Marylanders deserve a solution that addresses their concerns rather than passing the buck to five other legislatures.
Redistricting reform has failed to make any progress for decades, and we are grateful that the General Assembly finally took action. But we firmly believe Marylanders deserve reforms that create fair representation before the upcoming 2020 redistricting process saddles the state with gerrymandered districts for yet another decade.
We hope that the Governor’s Redistricting Reform Commission can meet with legislative leadership over the summer and discuss their different approaches. This veto gives all parties the opportunity to work together to craft legislation that all Marylanders can be proud of.
District maps are supposed to reflect the ideal of “one person, one vote.” District maps need to give fair representation to all, to protect communities, and to create districts that a legislator can understand and speak for. Our organizations are committed to promoting public policy that works for the people. Marylanders deserve a fair process, and they deserve it now.
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Tame the Gerrymander is a joint effort led by
Common Cause Maryland and the League of Women Voters of Maryland.
Nancy Soreng, 301-642-5479, firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-President, League of Women Voters of Maryland
Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, 410-303-7954 (cell), email@example.com
Executive Director, Common Cause MD