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Rocky redistricting road ahead for Maryland General Assembly

Congressional redistricting map faces 2 lawsuits
Posted: 6:38 PM, Jan 06, 2022
Updated: 2022-01-10 14:30:16-05

BALTIMORE — UPDATE: On Friday, January 7, the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee voted to advance a slightly adjusted map from the draft presented in the late December. We have updated the LRAC's legislative redistricting map with the final version and the FiveThirtyEight party lean data.

While Maryland's congressional map has been passed by the General Assembly, lawmakers will now need to vote on the map that outlines their own districts.

"[Of the] utmost important, this session is going to be the redistricting plan," says Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga.

The General Assembly convened in a special session last month to come up with a congressional map - and did - but it now faces two lawsuits in state.

Delegate Szeliga is the lead plaintiff in one of those cases - Szeliga v. Lamone.

But she's also concerned about the legislative maps.

"Unfortunately, Maryland just had the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the entire country. And our legislative districts, frankly, aren't much better," says Szeliga.

The General Assembly will receive the maps drawn by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission on the first day of the session, Wednesday, January 12.

However, it is not expected to pass in the General Assembly.

The Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee has also created a map, that is expected to pass both chambers.

The recommended map, in its final version can be viewed below, with partisan lean metrics from FiveThirtyEight.

"I'm incredibly proud of this map," said Senate President Bill Ferguson, during the January 7 meeting.

He continued, "It's a fundamentally fair map, that keeps the overwhelming majority of Marylanders in their same district."

The vote to recommend the map to the state legislature came out along party lines, with Senator Bryan Simonaire and Delegate Jason Buckel both voting against.

They both included their objections to the map in their no vote.

The debate will continue in the General Assembly during the Regular Session beginning Wednesday, January 12.

This story will be updated as we hear from more lawmakers on this redistricting process.