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October 18, 2011

A three member congressional district?

Fed up with with "gerrymandering," Sen. Jamie Raskin plans to offer his own redistricting map on the Senate floor later today. The Montgomery County Democrat can't amend the governor's plan at this point, but he can still criticize it.

Raskin's plan would into two "at large" congressional districts. One would be a "three member" congressional district and include much of western Maryland. The other would be a "five member" district, and encompass the rest of the state. (See photo.)

The plan, according to Raskin, will allow more minority candidates to win races. "We expect viable candidates across the political and demographic spectrum in both super-districts," according to a statement accompanying the map. "With a lower threshold for racial minority candidates to win a seat, there will be increased representation of racial minority communities and fairer representation for all."

Raskin said the plan will avoid the "extreme gerrymandering" currently at play in Maryland. The Senator, a professor in Constitutional law, acknowledges that the plan would require a change to federal law, and he said he is hoping the state's congressional delegation will help push the necessary legislation.

Raskin says that each state in the country should be able to "experiment with other voting systems."
Posted by Annie Linskey at 11:16 AM | | Comments (0)

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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