As a part of Governor Hogan’s executive order, the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission is holding a regional meeting Wednesday, June 16 at 6 p.m. for residents of Cecil, Harford, and Carroll counties. The meeting will focus on redistricting in these three counties, but all Marylanders are welcome to participate according to the Commission’s press release.
In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that partisan-gerrymandering challenges to electoral maps are political questions and thus beyond the reach of the federal courts, dismissing challenges by voters in Maryland and North Carolina.
The ruling held that Maryland did not have to redraw congressional election districts prior to the 2020 elections. Instead, the maps must be redrawn in time for the 2022 elections, in accordance with 2020 United States Census data.
Governor Hogan’s January 2021 executive order established the nine member commission charged with drawing fair and representative legislative and congressional maps for the 2022 elections. There will be several more regional meetings later this year which will continue to solicit citizens to offer comment on the boundaries before a new map is drawn.
According to the press release, the Commission is required to comply with a set of criteria, including:
- Compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965, and compliance with applicable judicial direction, rulings, judgments, and orders;
- Respect for natural boundaries and geographic integrity and continuity of political subdivisions, to the extent practicable;
- Geographic compactness, to the extent practicable; and
- Does not take into account citizens’ party affiliation or the address of an incumbent office holder or a candidate for office.