FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, March 25, 2022
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ross Sherman, RepresentUs PR Strategist, 207-749-2660, email@example.com
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. – A judge threw out the Maryland Legislature’s extremely gerrymandered congressional map Friday, sending it back to lawmakers to redraw. According to the Redistricting Report Card, the legislature-drawn congressional map received an “F” grade because it gave Democrats a significant advantage.
In an attempt to draw fairer redistricting maps, Gov. Larry Hogan created the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Commission’s congressional and state senate maps both received “A’s” from the Redistricting Report Card. But because advisory commissions don’t have final say over maps, the Democrat-controlled legislature was able to pass maps with a partisan advantage.
RepresentUs hosted an event with Gov. Hogan last October to advocate for fair maps.
“Maryland’s congressional map is a textbook example of extreme partisan gerrymandering, and the court is right to scrap it. We’ve seen time and time again this redistricting cycle: When politicians of either party are in control of drawing maps, they’re going to rig districts to lock in as much power as possible,” said RepresentUs CEO Joshua Graham Lynn. “It’s time for the Maryland Legislature to go back to the drawing board and pass a new map that actually reflects the will of Maryland voters.”
RepresentUs has been tracking the average grades for maps drawn by commissions and maps drawn by legislatures. Among states the Redistricting Report Card has grades for, commissions are averaging “B+” maps while legislatures are averaging “D+” maps.
While states with any kind of commission are drawing fairer maps on average, not all commissions are created equal. Independent commissions are the gold standard because they are isolated from politicians, have strong standards for the maps, and use effective structural constraints to prevent partisanship. RepresentUs’s Gerrymandering Threat Index assigns gerrymandering risk to all commission states.
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