Republicans are having a tough time getting enough petition signatures on a petition to bring to referendum the congressional redistricting plan passed by the legislature. The map redrew lines to make it possible for Democrats to pick up the 6th Congressional District seat of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in western Maryland.
“It’s a struggle,” admitted Del. Neil Parrott, a Washington County delegate who created the MdPetitions website that helped put the immigrant tuition DREAM Act on November’s ballot. “We’re working hard to get the first third.”
About 18,000 signatures are due next Thursday to the State Board of Elections. The petitions against same-sex marriage must also be filed at the same time, but that is going better because more groups are involved, Parrott said.
During Thursday afternoon’s rush hour, Parrott and supporters placed sign waving demonstrators along Ritchie Highway (Route 2) to show how the redistricting lines cross that road five times in Anne Arundel County, which is split into four congressional districts.
“The citizens of this county can’t elect a member of Congress,” Del. Steve Schuh complained, adding that Anne Arundel County was “most affected” by gerrymandering. Anne Arundel has two-thirds of the population to create its own congressional district and, for decades, county residents have been elected to Congress.
“This is a naked political ploy by a one-party monopoly,” said Dan Bongino, a Severna Park resident who is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. “We need a diversity of voices.”
Parrott said that once they get the first third of the 55,736 signatures needed, the rest will be easier to get. He admitted that people are less pumped up about signing the redistricting petition than they are for the one against the gay marriage law.
We did it though! Congrats to all the supporters and Del. Neil Parrott. Now to the rest of the spectators or doubters, join the fight or sign the petition if you haven’t already. Thanks
Opponents to this heavy handed, gerrymandered redistricting should have taken to the streets earlier to promote this effort. As one who resides in AA Co., I must say that gerrymandering to disenfranchise voters is WRONG when done by ANY POLITICAL PARTY! I’m appalled that we haven’t had a representative in YEARS that truly represents AA County given past gerrymandered maps. I did submit my petition. All I can hope for is that other battle weary voters will WAKE UP and demand reasonable, fairly constructed congressional districts that truly reflect the voice of their respective communities.