Tag: Redistricting Reform Commission

No politicians would draw lines under final redistricting plan

The governor’s Redistricting Reform Commission wrapped up its final report Tuesday calling for an independent, bipartisan commission of nine people to draw congressional and legislative district lines, with no politicians involved. All but two Democratic legislators on the 11-member reform group voted for the final report setting up the kind of independent commission Gov. Larry Hogan had called for.

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Is redistricting reform a waste of time?

To some politicians and pundits, the governor’s Redistricting Reform Commission is a waste of time. Certainly covering its hearings and deliberations as much as MarylandReporter.com has done is seen as a huge waste of time and space. Len Lazarick writes that propositions that face uphill fights often take years to pass. It is part of the process of educating the legislators and their constituents, changing minds and influencing public opinion.

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Redistricting reform commission reaches consensus on new independent process

The Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission met Tuesday to craft recommendations for ways to fix gerrymandering in Maryland, focusing on establishing an independent group to redistrict both congressional and legislative districts. The commission hashed out intricate rules to limit partisan influence and ensure the independence of the new panel.

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Well-aged solutions to Maryland’s redistricting problems

As we look back to the future this week, the problems of congressional and legislative redistricting are not new in Maryland, and potential solutions aren’t particularly new either. Maryland’s Constitutional Convention of 1967 dealt with the same issues Gov. Larry Hogan’s Redistricting Reform Commission is grappling with this week: what kind of group should draw the lines, who should serve on it, what standards for the districts should they follow and even whether all the members of the House of Delegates should serve in single-member districts.

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Senator pushes pragmatic change to congressional redistricting, while commission seeks broader reform

While her colleagues debated how they might come up with an independent nonpartisan redistricting commission — as the governor instructed them to do — the highest ranking legislator among them urged them to propose something lawmakers might actually pass: Rational standards for compact and contiguous congressional districts. “Don’t you want to come out of this with something?” asked Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the Senate committee that would likely handle any legislation the commission might recommend. “We want something that works.”

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Redistricting reform commission wraps up hearings

Gov. Larry Hogan’s Redistricting Reform Commission wrapped up its fifth and final regional hearing Tuesday night in Laurel with what has become the typical list of witnesses advocating for an independent commission to cure Maryland’s partisan gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts. Republican legislators and citizens outnumbered Democrats and African American Democrats complained of underrepresentation. But in a break from previous hearings, a smattering of Democrats opposed changes that unilaterally weaken their party while larger Republican-controlled states continued their gerrymandering ways, disempowering Democrats.

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Rascovar: Gerrymandering is here to stay

Good intentions and wishful thinking will not get advocates of redistricting reform very far. They fail to grasp that the process is 100 percent political. The sweeping changes they seek won’t happen. Reporters, editors and editorialists are strongly on the side of the reformers. So are political science academics and supporters of “good government.” None of that matters one iota.

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Redistricting should restore representative democracy

A critique of Maryland’s gerrymandered districts should not be viewed as an attack on the Democratic Party. It’s not. It is an attack on a process that encourages both parties to substitute their needs and their agenda for those of the people and the voters. It’s an attack on a process that subverts the very nature of representative government by allowing those in office to choose their voters instead of allowing voters to choose those who will serve in office.

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Redistricting Reform Commission holds first meeting with just 10 weeks to act

Gov. Larry Hogan’s 11-member Redistricting Reform Commission, created on Aug. 6 by executive order, met for first time near the State House Thursday where they outlined their first steps to reform the process of drawing Maryland’s congressional and legislative district lines. They have less than 10 weeks to finish their work and make recommendations to the governor and legislature.

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