October 14, 2011
In the 2000 Congressional redistricting cycle, it was determined by Maryland politicians in power that we should have six Democrats and two Republicans in the House of Representatives, not four from each political party as we did at the time. The lines were carefully redrawn to achieve that purpose and the effort was successful. Those in power manipulated the voters and the public went along with barely a whimper. Apparently, the current Maryland office holders from Gov. Martin O'Malley on down again have such little respect for the voters that they have proposed districts that are way out of line.
February 13, 2013
This Feb. 14, will mark the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters, an organization that was built on the efforts to secure for women the right to vote and continues its work by providing information to all voters to ensure that the right is exercised effectively. In Maryland and many other states, the League of Women Voters is addressing a serious threat to the right to vote: gerrymandering. Last year's redistricting process created congressional districts that twist from one county to another, dividing communities and combining little portions of each with parts of counties many miles away, with very different interests.
June 29, 1993
That ink blot below is the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina, but it may not be for long. The Supreme Court ruled in a case yesterday that drawing irrational district lines to ensure blacks get seats in Congress is unconstitutional when it unfairly "dilutes or cancels out white voting strength." A trial court must now decide if that has occurred in North Carolina. It probably has.It probably has not occurred in Maryland. Maryland's Fourth Congressional District in southern Prince George's County and eastern Montgomery County has attributes the North Carolina 12th does not. More on that later.
October 18, 2011
As Maryland's General Assembly considers proposals for new congressional districts this week, plenty of people are upset about how the new lines might affect election outcomes. Few, it seems, have noticed that by gerrymandering voting districts, politicians have also gerrymandered our free press and other forms of political speech. The fact that incumbents use redistricting to make the world safe for incumbency is not surprising. Reporters, who know how the gerrymandering manipulates election results, may scoff at the suggestion that news coverage is also being manipulated.
June 27, 2012
Organizations like ours are jumping for joy this week as theU.S. Supreme Courthas sided with our criminal justice efforts on two issues - ending both prison gerrymandering and juvenile life without parole rulings ("High court affirms redistricting map," and "Mandatory life terms for youth struck down," June 26). Having worked alongside impacted families and individuals that are affected by these two decisions, it is times like this that remind us our work is not in vain. Our work really does impact people - and reform can happen.
July 3, 2013
Letter writer Joe Everett made a valid point about the Voting Rights Act but failed to see the bigger picture and the totally inequitable situation that needs to be addressed ("Where was the outcry when Md. voters were harmed?" June 27). In the last federal election, more people voted for Democratic congressional candidates than for Republicans. Yet Republicans came away with 33 more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and a big, unwarranted majority. Decades of gerrymandering by Republican governors in red states has had the perverse effect of minimizing the political clout of urban areas and their voters.