Common Cause Maryland Calls for Hybrid Redistricting Plan to Secure a Transparent, Accessible Process for Congressional District Drawing

Yesterday, the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission held the final regional hearing in this year’s map drawing cycle before a special session begins to draw congressional district boundaries. The Commission heard public testimony, during which Common Cause Maryland outlined six recommendations for a hybrid redistricting plan that would make the remaining leg of the redistricting special session as transparent, participatory, and inclusive as possible.  

“It’s important that everyone in Maryland have an opportunity to meaningfully participate in this year’s redistricting process,” said Joanne Antoine, Common Cause Maryland Executive Director. “We strongly recommend developing a hybrid operational plan, if special session is not remote. A truly inclusive and accessible legislative process should allow for remote participation, even if advocates have in-person access.”  

Common Cause Maryland praised state leaders for their work to date to respond to its calls for greater transparency and accessibility in the state’s decennial redistricting process. They asked that state leaders build on that community-powered work by committing to its six recommendations that would allow all voters a chance to participate:  

  • Continue online streaming and archiving of all public proceedings, including subcommittee meetings and committee vote sessions, on the MGA website and YouTube pages; 
  • Allow the public to submit written testimony online, providing a reasonable deadline for submission; 
  • Provide remote oral testimony as an option. We recognize that a limit on remote testimony may be needed if the option to provide in-person testimony is available; 
  • Abolish the 4-person testimony limit in the Senate;  
  • Create a redistricting page on the MGA website to make following and engaging in the process easier for the public; and 
  • Provide contact information for the OIS in cases where there are technical streaming issues.