Liveblog of special session on redistricting

By Megan Poinski and Len Lazarick

Megan Poinski and Len Lazarick followed Monday’s activity in Annapolis — especially the joint hearing on redistricting — with a liveblog. Here is the transcript, with the most recent posts on the top.

This feed is also on’s Twitter feed, @mdreporter, or at #mdpolitics.

05:13 pm

The Senate committee approved O’Malley’s plan with a party line vote. Goes to the floor at 6 p.m. #mdpolitics


04:25 pm

Getty: Why are we meeting the minimum of the Voting Rights Act when we can have a third minority district? #mdpolitics


04:23 pm

Getty: Census numbers are approaching 50% minorities, but gov’s plan only has two minority districts. #mdpolitics


04:21 pm

Sen. Getty: His plan is “10 years ahead of its time.” Priority is Western Maryland. #mdpolitics


04:19 pm

We crashed for a while, and now we’re back up. Check the Twitter feed for posts during our site outage. #mdpolitics


03:58 pm

Jacobs: These bills we are presenting to you today are about fairness across the board. #mdpolitics


03:57 pm

Jacobs: Gov’s map is “misguided and rather myopic,” designed for a “party headcount” in DC. #mdpolitics


03:55 pm

Jacobs: Our bill is to put voters 1st. Look at our District 3: It is compact. It is together. #mdpolitics


03:54 pm

Jacobs: You can tell from looking at all three maps we are presenting today, it can be done. We keep communities together. #mdpolitics


03:52 pm

O’Donnell: This map, as compared to the ink-splotted map, looks very very different. #mdpolitics


03:51 pm

Discussion is finished on O’Malley’s plan. Now, O’Donnell and Jacobs are presenting the minority plan.


03:48 pm

Joseph Corbett: Outrageous plan, especially the 3rd district. “What is the rationale?” #mdpolitics


03:41 pm

Fellows: Will file a grievance with court if there are not ultimately three majority minority districts. #mdpolitics


03:39 pm

Fellows: “This gross miscarriage of justice is something we believe to be institutional racism.” #mdpolitics


03:38 pm

Carletta Fellows, Fannie Lou Hamer PAC: State of Maryland is negligent in Voting Rights Act. #mdpolitics


03:35 pm

George: Most constituents see Gov’s map for what it is: an embarrassment to good government. #mdpolitics


03:33 pm

Del. George: Governor’s proposed map makes gerrymandered previous maps look good. #mdpolitics


03:30 pm

Ladd: Scale: 1 is everyone’s dream, 2 is a fair representation, 3 is not everyone’s happy about it. 4 is ouch. #mdpolitics


03:28 pm

Richard Ladd: Map proposed really acts against forming of communities. Here because saying “Ouch.” #mdpolitics


03:26 pm

Wichman: Gov’s plan moves more than 30% of people to new districts when population only grew 9%, which is confusing. #mdpolitics


03:24 pm

Michelle Wichman, Common Cause: Process is flawed. It should involve multiple versions of maps, and more comment periods. #mdpolitics


03:22 pm

James Clany: It’s time for Anne Arundel County to get what it deserves. It needs to be in its own district. #mdpolitics


03:18 pm

Barve: If the objective is to empower people from nontraditional backgrounds to seek office, gov’s plan meets it very well. #mdpolitics


03:15 pm

Barve: There may be some in the Indian community that don’t like gov’s plan, but none of them told him. #mdpolitics


03:12 pm

Barve: In favor of O’Malley’s plan. Very much opposed to any proposal to split Montgomery County between 4 or more districts #mdpolitics


03:07 pm

Edwards: Under my plan, try to concentrate minorities into the 4th District. Gov’s plan dilutes minority representation. #mdpolitics


03:03 pm

Navarro: Not endorsing any specific map, just wants some enhancements for the Latino community. #mdpolitics


03:00 pm

Nancy Navarro: This is about continuing to work with Latino communities to increase civic participation. #mdpolitics


02:58 pm

Ervin: Changes to the map are “encouraging,” but there’s still tweaking that can be done. #mdpolitics


02:57 pm

Ervin: Montgomery County’s minority populations all grew. But in Districts 3, 6 and 8, fewer minorities would be represented. #mdpolitics


02:54 pm

Valerie Ervin: This is an extraordinary moment for all points of view to be on the table. #mdpolitics


02:52 pm

Hixson: Edwards is talking about her district; no problems there with not voting for minorities #mdpolitics


02:50 pm

Ramirez: Looking at O’Malley’s minority percentages in districts vs. Edwards’ minority percentages; where’s the big difference? #mdpolitics


02:43 pm

@repdonnaedwards: No dilution; common interests are united. #mdpolitics


02:41 pm

King: If we go with @repdonnaedwards map, Montgomery County has four districts, Prince George’s has three. Does it dilute representation? #mdpolitics


02:29 pm

@repdonnaedwards: If BRAC can be a community of interest, so can minorities in Montgomery County. #mdpolitics


02:26 pm

@repdonnaedwards #redistricting plan: #mdpolitics


02:21 pm

@repdonnaedwards: Believe it is possible to meet concerns about minorities in Montgomery County and fulfill constitutional #redistricting rules. #mdpolitics


02:18 pm

@repdonnaedwards: Historic reasons why some communities were unified: common interests. Concentrations of minority communities now split. #mdpolitics


02:14 pm

@repdonnaedwards: Doesn’t think anyone can say with certitude that the plan from the governor — or any other plan — meets the Voting Rights Act. #mdpolitics


02:10 pm

Soreng: The way the districts are currently drawn, it may have impacted the ability to have majority minority districts. #mdpolitics


02:07 pm

Rutherford: We should have the proposed #redistricting map first, then months of hearings on that. #mdpolitics


02:05 pm

Anne Rutherford: Ask for the gerrymandering to be taken out. The point was to make the districts cohesive. #mdpolitics


02:03 pm

Howard Gorrell: Base #redistricting lines on geographic and natural boundaries. If that doesn’t work, use school districts. #mdpolitics


02:00 pm

McIntosh: Gov’s map creates more competitive districts, takes away partisan leanings of districts. #mdpolitics


01:59 pm

Nancy Soreng, LWV: Have been trying to change #redistricting process, no success; just a “bizarrely drawn” map. #mdpolitics


01:58 pm

Hitchcock: Large number of people with no political persuasion came to #redistricting hearings to talk about their communities. #mdpolitics


01:50 pm

Hitchcock: Never been specifically accused of drawing a map in violation of the Voting Rights Act. #mdpolitics


01:49 pm

O’Donnell: AG’s office said gov’s map in full compliance with Voting Rights Act? Hitchcock: Had an expert consulting with. #mdpolitics


01:44 pm

Leggett: Rep. Edwards is here to testify against map. Baker: one representative favors, one doesn’t. Rawlings-Blake: Satisfied. #mdpolitics


01:42 pm

Pugh: Legislative Black Caucus was concerned about minority representation. What were discussions with your Congress members? #mdpolitics


01:40 pm

Leggett: Believes minorities can be elected in districts where they are not the majority. #mdpolitics


01:38 pm

Rushern Baker: Feel O’Malley’s map is very strong for Prince George’s County; allows more great representation Capitol Hill. #mdpolitics


01:36 pm

Leggett: When you look at the challenges to #redistricting, O’Malley’s map addresses them. #mdpolitics


01:34 pm

Ike Leggett: I cannot say this map substantially harms interest of those concerned about diversity, leadership. #mdpolitics


01:33 pm

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: Testifies in support of O’Malley’s plan. It’s good for Baltimore and ensures good representation #mdpolitics


01:28 pm

O’Malley’s chief legislative officer Joe Bryce shares boundaries and areas of the eight districts. #mdpolitics


01:24 pm

Hitchcock: There is no easy way to draw maps, but this is balanced, fair, violates no laws, encompasses spirit of what we want. #mdpolitics


01:17 pm

Hitchcock: O’Malley’s map “meets not only the letter, but the spirit of the voting rights law.” #mdpolitics


01:16 pm

Hitchcock: O’Malley’s map reflects changing demographics. 70% of people keep same district, all 8 reps stay in their districts. #mdpolitics


01:14 pm

Jeanne Hitchcock: Assures legislators each that their constituents showed up, spoke out, were heard. #mdpolitics


01:10 pm

Robey: Six pieces of legislation will be considered today. #mdpolitics


01:08 pm

Joint Hearing Room is filling up with few seats to spare and large pictures of O’Malley’s #redistricting proposal on display.#mdpolitics


01:03 pm

Hamer PAC will look to GOP for help funding lawsuit if Gov’s plan passes without 3 minority districts. #mdpolitics


01:01 pm

Carletta Fellow of Fannie Lou Hamer PAC says Black Caucus legislators were cajoled into backing gov’s plan. #mdpolitics


12:58 pm

“if everybody had their own wishes, we’d have 47 bills,” Miller tells Senate. He still wants vote today. #mdpolitics


12:55 pm

Sen. E.J. Pipkin introduced two dozen bills, but Miller says they won’t be acted on. He suggested hearings in interim.


12:48 pm

People are slowly filtering into the Joint Hearing Room for the hearing on redistricting and changes in school districts.


10:53 am

At news conference, O’Malley repeatedly insists his map “is as fair and balanced as we could make it.”


10:49 am

Senate President Miller says he hopes to take first vote on redistricting tonight after committee reports out bill.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. Ctobeyk

    It is disgusting. Our  “representatives” do not represent us! Maryland has become a dictatorship! 

  2. John O. Ludwigson (@oldbot)

    @mdreporter Thank you, thank you, thank you… for liveblogging the legislative session on the MD Gerrymander! It’s an eye-opener!

  3. John O. Ludwigson (@oldbot)

    @mdreporter Thank you, thank you, thank you… for liveblogging the legislative session on the MD Gerrymander! It’s an eye-opener!

  4. Everett Will (@DCAbloob)

    RT @mdreporter: At news conference, O’Malley repeatedly insists his map “is as fair and balanced as we could make it.” #mdpolitics