Maryland

State website: Department of Planning redistricting site, General Assembly redistricting site
2010-cycle districts: Congress, State legislature  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts: Congress, State legislature
Primary governing law: Md. Const. art. III, §§ 3-5; Md. Code, State Gov't, § 2-201

The Latest

The state has adjusted its data (more here) for redistricting purposes, to count people in prison at their last known address before incarceration.

Congress: On October 4, the Governor's advisory commission released a proposed map; on October 15, the Governor released a slightly modified version of this map as his final proposal to the legislature. That map was amended, and as SB 1, passed the legislature as emergency legislation, with a three-fifths supermajority, to be implemented immediately. It was signed by the Governor on October 20. Though court challenges to the plan were rejected, a referendum campaign succeeded in placing the plan on the ballot; that referendum was defeated, and the maps were approved, in the November 2012 elections.

State leg.: On December 16, the Governor's advisory commission released a proposed state legislative map; on January 11, the Governor released a slightly modified version as his final proposal to the legislature. Without legislative action in the next 45 days, the Governor's proposal became law on February 24. Court challenges to the plan were rejected.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines D 35 D, 12 R 98 D, 43 R
    (could override veto)
    State legislative lines 35 D, 12 R 98 D, 43 R
    2000 cong. lines D 33 D, 14 R 106 D, 35 R
    (could override veto)
    2000 state lines 33 D, 14 R 106 D, 35 R

    For state legislative lines, the Governor submits a proposed plan at the start of the legislative session (traditionally, the Governor has convened a five-person advisory commission to assist with the process; the members of the commission for the 2010 cycle are listed here). If the state legislature does not successfully pass a joint resolution (without the possibility of gubernatorial veto) to redraw state legislative lines within 45 days, the Governor's plan becomes law. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]

    Maryland's congressional lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The Governor may also propose a congressional plan for the state legislature to consider.

    The Maryland constitution vests original jurisdiction in the state Supreme Court (known as the Court of Appeals) for review of state legislative lines in state court. There is no similar provision for congressional lines. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]


  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to Maryland on February 9, 2011.

    Maryland state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by December 5, 2011. [Md. Code, Election Law, § 5-303(a)]

    For state legislative lines, if the state legislature does not pass a joint resolution within 45 days of the start of the session two years after the federal Census is conducted, the Governor's proposal will become law; because the session will begin on January 11, 2012, that 45-day deadline will be February 25, 2012. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5] However, candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by December 5, 2011. [Md. Code, Election Law, § 5-303(a)]

    The Maryland constitution ties the drawing of state legislative lines to the Census, and might therefore be construed to prohibit redrawing lines mid-decade; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5]


  • Public input

    The Maryland constitution requires public hearings before the Governor submits a proposed state legislative plan to the legislature. [Md. Const. art. III, § 5] The Governor's advisory commission conducted public hearings in late summer 2011. The commission also accepted public comment on its proposed congressional map from October 4 (when the map was released) until October 11.

    Citizens can also present redistricting plans according to guidelines that will be posted on the Maryland Department of Planning website.


  • Criteria

    Like all states, Maryland must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. [Md. Const. art. III, § 4; Legislative Redistricting Cases, 629 A.2d 646 (Md. 1993)] Maryland will adjust census data for both congressional and state legislative districts in order to count incarcerated individuals at their last known residence before incarceration. [Md. Code, State Gov't, § 2-2A-01; Md. Code, Election Law, § 8-701]

    Maryland must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

    The Maryland constitution further requires that state legislative districts be contiguous and compact, and that they give "due regard" for political boundaries and natural features. There are no similar provisions for congressional districts. [Md. Const. art. III, § 4; In re Legislative Districting, 475 A.2d 428 (Md. 1984)] Three state representatives are elected from each state Senate district; the three state representatives may be elected from a multimember district, or from three state House districts nested within a state Senate district. [Md. Const. art. III, § 3]


  • 2010-cycle cases

    Due to the volume of filings, information on the Maryland cases is located on a separate litigation page, here.


  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, the Maryland legislature enacted congressional plans, signed on May 6, 2002. The legislature did not pass state legislative plans, so the Governor's proposals for state House and Senate became law on February 22, 2002.

    The congressional plan was challenged in federal court, and upheld. The state legislative plan was challenged in state court, and struck down largely on grounds that the plan failed to give "due regard" to political boundaries. The court adopted its own plan on June 21, 2002.

    [In re Legislative Districting, 805 A.2d 292 (Md. 2002); Duckworth v. State Admin. Bd. of Elections, 332 F.3d 769 (4th Cir. 2003); Kimble v. State Bd. of Elections, 120 Fed. Appx. 466 (4th Cir. 2005)]

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