Tame the Gerrymander

Maryland is one of the two most gerrymandered states and is home to the most gerrymandered district in America. The Washington Post has called Maryland “comically gerrymandered” and labeled its congressional districts “highly partisan and racially charged.”

MD Redistricting

Leading the Grassroots Fight

Common Cause Maryland has led a creative effort to bring attention to the problem of unfair representation in the General Assembly and among Maryland’s congressional delegation as part of the Tame the Gerrymander coalition. As a result of the coalition’s efforts, Gov. Larry Hogan created the Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission, a group of citizens tasked with recommending a new approach to redistricting that puts the needs of the people over the needs of politicians. The Commission, which included Common Cause Maryland board member Michael Goff, recommended the creation of an independent citizen commission to draw districts using objective and nonpartisan criteria in a transparent process. See the Commission’s recommendations here.

We are keeping up the pressure to pass these reforms through the legislature.

Shapiro v. McManus

Marylanders scored an important victory in the U.S. Supreme Court last year when the Court ruled in a unanimous decision that their First Amendment challenge to Maryland’s gerrymandered congressional districts must have its day in court. Previously, a trial judge threw out the case without allowing it to be heard by a three-judge panel, as is required in most challenges to redrawn maps. The lead plaintiff, Steve Shapiro, is an active Common Cause Maryland volunteer. Common Cause submitted an amicus brief supporting his view that the state’s congressional districts violate the First Amendment rights of Maryland residents. Hear Common Cause’s teleconference previewing oral arguments and read our attorney’s take on how they went.


Currently, Mr. Shapiro is awaiting a decision by the three-judge federal district court panel on the defendants’ motion to dismiss.  Two of the three judges on that panel seemed supportive of Mr. Shapiro’s claims.  Common Cause Maryland and our national redistricting team remain active participants supporting the plaintiffs

Tame the Gerrymander Events

Some of the coalition’s recent events spotlighting the problem of gerrymandering in Maryland include:

Matthew Kurdt
Matthew Kurdt

You can find information on Common Cause Maryland’s redistricting reform efforts on the Common Cause Maryland website or by contacting Common Cause Maryland Executive Director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel at 410-268-7470 or jbd@commoncause.org.  

Maryland ranks among the worst in the nation for how we draw our congressional and legislative district lines.  Our current plan has been called "comically gerrymandered." Gerrymandering stacks the deck in elections, breeds voter apathy, and contributes to an increasingly partisan and gridlocked Congress.

Gerrymandering undermines democracy. Let’s change the process in Maryland.

Register today for one – or more – of our activities and events!

Latest Status

August 25, 2016
On the redistricting litigation front, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. We'll start with the bad news. Illinois Supreme Court Removes Independent Map Amendment from November Ballot A divided Illinois Supreme...

Gerrymander Gazette: Breaking News in Illinois and Maryland
August 25, 2016

Today Gov. Larry Hogan introduced a bill prohibiting the drawing of legislative districts for political advantage and establishing an independent citizen commission to draw district lines. Hogan’s bill would end a redistricting process in...

Hogan Proposes Bill to Curb Gerrymandering in Maryland
January 27, 2016

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