Del­e­gate of­fers ger­ry­man­der­ing so­lu­tion

Make con­gres­sional dis­tricts fol­low state’s dis­trict pat­tern, Arun­del’s aMalone says

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Pamela Wood

As the Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can par­ties battle over how to draw con­gres­sional dis­tricts, one Mary­land del­e­gate thinks he has a sim­ple so­lu­tion .

Del. Michael Malone is spon­sor­ing a bill that would re­quire con­gres­sional dis­tricts to be com­pact and re­spect ge­o­graphic bound­aries and lo­cal city and county bound­aries. It’s the same le­gal stan­dard re­quired for the state’s dis­tricts for del­e­gates and state se­na­tors. “It’s eas­ily un­der­stood. It pro­vides clear guide­lines,” said Malone, an Anne Arun­del County Repub­li­can.

In Novem­ber, a fed­eral court or­dered that Mary­land’s 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, which in­cludes West­ern Mary­land and much of Mont­gomery County, be re­drawn. Mary­land At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bri- an Frosh, a Demo­crat, has ap­pealed that rul­ing to the Supreme Court. As the court case plays out, Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan has ap­pointed a com­mis­sion to sug­gest new bound­aries for the dis­trict. He also is push­ing leg­is­la­tion that would re­quire con­gres­sional dis­tricts to be drawn in the fu­ture by a bi­par­ti­san com­mis­sion.

Malone said he sup­ports the gover­nor’s bill, but is putting forth his idea as a sim­pler al­ter­na­tive with bi­par­ti­san sup­port.

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