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Maryland Activists Vow To "Tame The Gerrymander"

Activists brought puzzles of several Maryland Congressional districts to Lawyer's Mall next to the State House in Annapolis on Thursday.
Activists brought puzzles of several Maryland Congressional districts to Lawyer's Mall next to the State House in Annapolis on Thursday.
Activists brought puzzles of several Maryland Congressional districts to Lawyer's Mall next to the State House in Annapolis on Thursday.
Credit Karen Hosler / WYPR
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Activists brought puzzles of several Maryland Congressional districts to Lawyer's Mall next to the State House in Annapolis on Thursday.

A coalition of civic groups launched today a long-term campaign to reform the way Maryland draws its congressional election districts. 

On the birthday of Elbridge Gerry, an eighteenth century politician famous for devising election districts that favor the party in power, activists gathered outside the State House to declare they have no pride in Maryland’s skill at “gerrymandering” -- and will work to end it.

“This is something that citizens everywhere know is a problem. The maps really speak for themselves,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland.  “You can’t look at these contorted, distorted districts and not question how an elected official could adequately and fairly represent you.” Representatives of the League of Women Voters of Maryland and the National Council of Jewish Women also addressed the gathering.

Only one elected official endorsed what would almost certainly require approval of Maryland’s strong Democratic majority. That was Republican Delegate Ron George, who lost a bid for governor this year. “This is not a partisan issue,” George said. “This is good government.”

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