From the Harford Campaign for Liberty:
When discussing Gerrymandering, Maryland is often referenced. Three of the most Gerrymandered congressional districts in the entire United States are found here in our home State.
“Gerrymander” means to draw district boundaries to advantage one group over another. Here’s a couple of examples of Gerrymandered districts:
These districts were drawn by politicians who picked their voters with the goal of achieving electoral victory. Republicans do it, as do Democrats. And it’s despicable.
So what does gerrymandering mean for Maryland? The last time the districts were reapportioned was after the 2000 Census.
Here’s the result of the last Redistricting process:
Now Let’s look at Anne Arundel County. Its population does not meet the size criteria of a single congressional district, so you would think all of Anne Arundel would be in one District. No, it is divided into 4 districts.
Gerrymandering means Harford County, whose population is only 37% the size of a congressional district is divided into 3 districts. Some residents of Harford vote with Ocean City and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and other Harford residents vote with Oakland in Garrett County, and the Alleghany Mountains to the west. This represents a driving distance of 325 miles or 6 hours driving time, in our state where no one resides more then 45 minutes from a state border. To put it in perspective, this distance is just 30 miles less then that driving distance between Baltimore andCleveland, Ohio.
Then take a look at Maryland’s Third Congressional District. The District starts in Annapolis swings west to parts of Columbia and Ellicott City, runs thru parts of Baltimore City, then up to Reisterstown and even includes parts Parkville.
At one point, in order to maintain its continuity the extent of the width of this District is a Faculty parking lot that runs along Perring Parkway at Morgan State University. The absurdity of this district map shows that Maryland politicians drawing up congressional districts are no longer concerned with neighborhoods, all they care is, ‘How many loyal Democrats can I get construct into my district?’ ”
Democrats hold a 2 to 1 advantage over Republicans in voter registrations in Maryland.
The number of registered Democrats is 1,937,000 to the Republicans 914,000. In the last gubernatorial election in November 2010 the Republican candidate garnered 42% of the vote. But current Democratic plans to redraw the Congressional District maps would gerrymander Republicans to be competitive in only one Congressional District, thus having a realistic chance of only obtaining one seat of the eight in the Maryland Congressional Delegation.
This means the opposition party in Maryland would be limited to only 12.5% representation in our delegation and the party in power ( the Democrats) will assure future electoral success– simply by picking their voters.
Ultimately we must reform the redistricting process here in Maryland. No district should be drawn for the purpose of favoring a political party, an elected official, or any other person or group. We must work with the legislature in Maryland to make the redistricting process fairer to the principles that we all claim to believe in — the democratic process, blind justice, and equal rights under the law.
Until that time can be reached we who are concerned residents must speak out against the blatant gerrymandering that is taking place in the State of Maryland.
We ask you to stand up for the rule of law and join us this Saturday at the Harford Community College Amoss Center as we call upon the redistricting commission to end the practice of constructing contorted, irrational districts that cut neighborhoods and communities in half, just so politicians can stay in office and increase the power of their party.
The Redistricting hearing is being held this Saturday, August 27 at 11AM at the Harford Community College Amoss Center. Will you join us?