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Redrawing Maryland's Political Map: Three Views on the Challenge

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The new proposed congressional map for the state of Maryland, drawn by a panel appointed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, on display in Annapolis on Nov. 5, 2021. A separate panel appointed by leaders of the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, is working on another proposed map. The General Assembly convenes a special session on Dec. 6 to approve a new map. (AP Photo by Brian Witte)

Every ten years, following a national census, Congressional seats are re-allocated, and Congressional district boundaries are re-drawn to assure that each member of the House represents roughly the same number of constituents. As the population of the US shifts, certain states will lose seats in the House, while others will gain them. New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia and California will all lose a seat in the next Congress. Oregon, Colorado, Montana, Texas, Florida and North Carolina will each gain seats.

The 2020 Census showed that the state of Maryland grew by more than 400,000 people, although the City of Baltimore has lost 35,000 residents during the last 10 years.

And with that population loss comes a loss of clout on Capitol Hill.

Maryland will retain the eight-member House Delegation it currently holds, and on Dec. 6th, the General Assembly will meet in a special session to determine what voters those eight districts will include.

Last January, Republican Governor Larry Hogan appointed members to a commission called the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. That body submitted proposed maps for Congressional and state districts to the Governor a week and a half ago. (see link below)

A separate commission, appointed in July by Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones - both Democrats - has released its own set of maps, including four different proposals for Congressional districts. (see link below)

Today on Midday, where we are in the redistricting process, how we got here, and what we can expect moving forward.

A little later in the program, we're joined by Dave Daley, a senior fellow at the non-partisan group FairVote and the author of two books about gerrymandering and re-districting, the latest called Unrigged: How Americans are Battling Back to Save Democracy. Daley recaps the history of how the current Maryland Congressional map was devised 10 years ago.

We also hear from Josh Kurtz, a journalist who covers all things legislative in Maryland as the founding editor of Maryland Matters, one of the state's leading political news journals.

But we begin with former Maryland State Senator Jim Brochin. Brochin, a Democrat, has teamed up with former Republican Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman to form Fair Maps Maryland, a group that advocates for the legislature to adopt the recommendations that Gov. Hogan’s commission has put forward. Fair Maps Maryland is being advised by Doug Mayer, a former communications strategist for the Governor.

Jim Brochin joins us on the phone from Towson, Maryland.

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Former MD Sen. Jim Brochin, co-chair Fair Maps Maryland; Dave Daley, Sr. Fellow, Fair Vote; Josh Kurtz, founding ed., Maryland Matters (courtsey photos)

Here are links to the two separate redistricting commissions and their respective proposed maps:

Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission

Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.