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High Court To Take Look At Electoral Districts; Panel Begins To Redraw Maryland’s 6th District

January 7th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The nine-member bipartisan commission tasked with redrawing Maryland's Sixth Congressional District began its work Friday. The commission will work to comply with a federal court order that declared the district unconstitutional. "What this commission's task really is, is to correct constitutional violations that were found by the federal court," said Chris Mincher, a legal adviser.

A mix of Republicans, Democrats and Independents will redraw the district. The boundaries currently meander from deep-blue Montgomery County through solid-red western Maryland.

A three-judge panel ordered a new map, declaring the current one unconstitutional. They found state Senate Democrats drew the 6th District with the intent of flipping the western end of it from Republican to Democrat.

Judge Paul Niemeyer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said in his opinion for the panel that the Maryland congressional map removed roughly 66,000 Republican voters from the district and added around 24,000 Democratic voters, "bringing about the single greatest alteration of voter makeup in any district in the nation following the 2010 census."

Restoring public confidence in the system is a priority for the panel.

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