Redistricting map confusing in the extreme

November 17, 2011

As a representative for a non-partisan legislative group, my position requires me to see as many people and businesses in Maryland as I can every day to get their opinions on urgent issues facing the federal government

At the end of the week, I amass these opinion ballots and send them to Congress. In order to do this correctly, I enter an official Congressional website and post the addresses of these constituents to ensure that I am sending their ballots to the correct elected official.

It is a nightmare for me when working in Anne Arundel County as there are no fewer than five representatives involved. Upon entering the address of the constituent, there have been many instances when I have encountered dual or triple representation for one physical address, forcing me to make multiple copies to ensure that each of the representatives listed for a particular individual or business hears from them.

So now we have a new redistricting plan. Has anyone really seen this map? It is frustrating to figure out who represents whom. After Maryland's plan passed, I researched the redistricting maps of other states. For the most part I found clearly defined districts with almost linear divisions. Maryland's map, by contrast, appears to have been drawn by a committee that took eight different paint colors on eight different brushes and just splattered them against a wall!

If this is frustrating for me, how can a representative in Congress even know who their constituents are?

Margaret Miller

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