Governor Hogan Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Gerrymandering in Maryland
Proposes Nonpartisan Redistricting Apportionment Commission, Constitutional Amendment
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today introduced legislation that will reform Maryland’s broken redistricting process and put the state on a new path toward fair representation, election integrity, and transparency. Based on recommendations from the governor’s bipartisan Redistricting Reform Commission, the administration is proposing a nonpartisan Apportionment Commission to replace the existing, governor-led redistricting process.
“An overwhelming majority of Marylanders favor an independent, nonpartisan panel for redistricting over the existing biased process,” said Governor Hogan. “For too long, fair elections and a healthy, strong, and competitive two-party system have been nearly impossible in our state. This is about recognizing a problem and choosing to do the right thing to solve it.”
Maryland’s congressional districts have been widely recognized as some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country, and Governor Hogan has remained outspoken in his commitment to redistricting reform. Last year, he established a bipartisanRedistricting Reform Commission, which diligently studied the issue and the states that have adopted independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions, and therefore greatly reducing the politics and partisanship that comes with redistricting. The Commission also held five public hearings across the state and received input from hundreds of Marylanders on the need for redistricting reform and ideas on how to implement a more fair and transparent system.
Today’s legislation is based on recommendations from that Commission and moves Maryland one step closer towards real and lasting reform. Governor Hogan is proposing a constitutional amendment that would repeal existing provisions relating to the redistricting process, and instead create the General Assembly and Congressional Legislative Redistricting Apportionment Commission. Following the decennial census of the United States, this nonpartisan commission would be tasked with dividing the state into legislative and congressional districts, in accordance with state and federal constitutional provisions. This independent process would result in more election districts being based on population, compactness, and natural boundaries, as opposed to politics and partisanship.