Serving Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Middle River, Rosedale, and Southeast Baltimore County in the great state of Maryland.
Very Disappointed With New Congressional Map
-by Delegate Bob Long-
We have witnessed the debate about the Congressional Map since December. The Governor appointed an independent commission to draw up what was known as the Citizen’s Map.
Then, the General Assembly came back and created their own Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission (LRAC) map, which was extremely gerrymandered. I, along with all Republicans, voted against the map. That original map was passed, but later rejected by a judge for being gerrymandered.
The General Assembly responded with a new and less gerrymandered map and passed it last week. Again, all Republicans voted against the new map, but Gov. Hogan decided to sign the map into law as a compromise.
This new Congressional map divides our area. Essex, Rosedale and Middle River remain in Congressional District 2, but Dundalk and Edgemere is now in Congressional District 7, along with Baltimore City.
Yes, this map is less gerrymandered than the original LRAC map, but at the expense of the Dundalk/Edgemere area. I wanted to offer an amendment to keep the southeast area in the same district, but was told that I needed to redraw the entire map with the precise numbers for each district.
We did not have the software and the time to draw up that complex of an amendment within a few hours. It was not feasible. I spoke on the floor and questioned the majority leader about the map. He explained that the map had to be compacted and Baltimore City was close enough to Dundalk to be included in a district. I strongly disagreed.
I am heartbroken that the Governor did not veto this map. We have fought hard for the past eight years to get fair maps for redistricting. Dundalk & Edgemere have done a lot for this Governor and I was hoping he would have looked out for this area.
One good thing about this map is that it is less gerrymandered statewide. Right now, Republicans have only one of the eight Congressional seats in Maryland.
This map will probably result in Republicans gaining two seats and the respectable chance of obtaining a third GOP seat. I just wish it did not divide our district.
HB 113 would result in requiring Voter ID at the polling places. Our bill is a constitutional amendment that would put the debate of Voter ID on the ballot for the 2022 election. We want the voters to decide the matter. This legislation is to address the after math of the presidential election. We need to restore voter confidence to ensure democracy in our country.
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