Worcester election filing date pushed back yet again
Last Friday, the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court rejected the new map of Maryland’s congressional district and ordered it to be redrawn, dealing a blow to Democrats in the state whose map of the first district would have been less supportive of U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R) as he seeks re-election. .
The first district would have crossed the Chesapeake Bay and entered Anne Arundel County – areas much more densely populated than the East Coast and home to more Democratic voters.
“The plaintiffs, based on the evidence (provided) at trial, proved that the (proposed map) was drawn with ‘partisanship as the overriding intent, to the exclusion of traditional redistricting criteria,'” the judge wrote. Lynne Battaglia in her decision. The retired Maryland Court of Appeals judge wrote, “Clearly… Republican voters and candidates are significantly impacted by the 2021 plan. The state has failed to provide a ‘compelling public interest’ to justify the negative effect. »
Of the. Wayne Hartman (R-38C) said he was happy with Battaglia’s decision.
“This gerrymandering has been going on in Maryland for many years,” he said. “To see a judge stand against it so strongly – hopefully that’s a good sign for the legislative constituencies, which would affect our eight members of Congress and our federal partners. I hope that’s a good sign because there certainly has some obvious gerrymandering where the majority party used these cards to achieve the desired result of eliminating conservative representation.
The Maryland Democratic Caucus submitted its new map on March 28, which removes Anne Arundel County’s new ribbon in the First District, but instead of stopping its wrapping around the bay in the southern part of Harford County, it encompasses the entire county and western parts of Baltimore County.
Currently, the district includes the entire east coast and northern portions of Harford, Baltimore, and Carroll, with a few shards extending further south into these counties.
On Wednesday, the House of Delegates had the opportunity to consider the new map after it was passed by the Senate. Although the First District looks “pretty much like it used to,” Hartman said, the overall map still isn’t ideal.
“It always favors the Democratic Party,” he said. “Maryland West Rural District 6 goes to Montgomery County instead of Carroll County, keeping areas of similarities together, i.e. rural needs. With the number of Republicans in Maryland, we should have at least three of the eight seats (in the US House of Representatives). With this map, Republicans are only favored in District 1.”
“I will vote against this map.”
Later Wednesday night, the new card passed along party lines.
Shortly after the vote, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that an appeal of the original ruling had been filed.
Meanwhile, speaking about the legislative map legal case in the Maryland Court of Appeals, Hartman said he doesn’t expect a decision until after the session, which ends April 11.
Already, the deadline to file for election in Worcester County has been pushed back twice. First on March 22 and now on April 15. Likewise, the primaries have been rescheduled from June 28 to July 19 and even that date is not set in stone and cannot be set until the court decides, county elections official Patricia Jackson said. .
“We’ll have to look at the new lines (of the map) and compare them to our existing lines and move any voters whose electoral district might have changed to a new legislative precinct,” Jackson said of the work that has to wait until after the decision.
When asked if the primaries could be postponed once again, Jackson offered a simple answer.
“There’s always a chance,” she says.