Judicial Watch, MDPetitions.com Statement Regarding Judge’s Decision Granting Maryland Voters Right to Vote on Maryland’s Gerrymandered Congressional Redistricting Map
AUGUST 10, 2012
Maryland Democrats Fail to Keep Redistricting Plan Referendum off November Ballot
(Washington, DC) –MDPetitions.com’s Chairman Delegate Neil Parrott and Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement today following a Maryland circuit court decision that gives a green light to an Election Day voter referendum on Maryland’s new gerrymandered Congressional Districting Plan. The circuit court judge today shot down an effort by the state Democrat party that sought to remove the issue from the November ballot (Dennis Whitley, III, et al., v. Maryland State Board of Elections, et al.( No. 02-C-12-171365)). The judge had previously granted a motion by MDPetitions.com to intervene in the lawsuit. MDPetitions.com launched a successful petition drive to put the Congressional Districting Plan to a referendum November 2012 because gerrymandered maps minimize the voting power of certain groups. Maryland Democrats filed a lawsuit to stop the referendum from going forward. Judicial Watch is representing MDPetitions.com in the court proceedings.
Delegate Neil Parrott, Chairman of MDPetitions.com said, “This victory is a huge victory for all Maryland voters and brings us one step closer to allowing Marylanders to vote on what appears to be the most gerrymandered and convoluted congressional redistricting map in the country.
“Voters from across the state worked hard to get the signatures to bring this bill to referendum. Now is the time to let the people vote.”
“Governor O’Malley and certain Democrat powerbrokers come closer to facing the will of the people of Maryland,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “MDPetitions.com’s successful petition drive earned Marylanders of both parties the right to vote up or down on Maryland’s new Congressional District Plan.”
On October 20, 2011, Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) signed the new Congressional Districting Plan into law, drawing heavy criticism from both political parties. Critics maintain the new congressional map is specifically designed to enhance the power of Democrat incumbents while minimizing the voting power of minorities, rural voters and Republicans.
As noted by a Washington Post editorial: “The map, drafted under Mr. O’Malley’s watchful eye, mocks the idea that voting districts should be compact or easily navigable. The eight districts respect neither jurisdictional boundaries nor communities of interest. To protect incumbents and for partisan advantage, the map has been sliced, diced, shuffled and shattered, making districts resemble studies in cubism.”