October 25th, 2012 by WCBC Radio
Last year, the Maryland General Assembly approved new boundaries for the state's congressional districts, based on the results of the 2010 U.S. Census. This year, besides the eight congressional seats, the boundaries themselves are also before voters. Opponents of the redistricting plan collected more than 60,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot, which appears as Question 5. If voters reject, Question 5, state lawmakers would be required to come up with new district boundaries in time for the 2014 elections. Democratic leaders of the Maryland General Assembly says the districts reflect the population shifts in Maryland. Critics say the plan creates a lot of gerrymandering, and disproportionately large districts. The plan also targets Republican Roscoe Bartlett for defeat, by adding sections of Montgomery County to his districts. The newly created district creates a majority of Democrats, and now Bartlett is in a close race against Democrat John Delaney. It was an issue the 20 year incumbent addressed during a candidates forum in Cumberland this week.