Maryland's congressional maps are a product of the politicians, for the politicians, by the politicians. They were born of the two competing desires of the state's
The only coherent arguments proponents of the map can make for it are that this redistricting effort simply built on the old maps, which were also convoluted; and that what Maryland Democrats pulled off is no different from what, say, Texas
The virtue of working from the basis of the old maps, proponents say, is that two-thirds of voters will stay in the same districts. Starting from scratch, they claim, would lead to confusion among many voters about who represents them in Congress. But the consequence is that while voters might know who their congressman is, they have no idea who represents their neighbors. That makes it more difficult for constituents to speak with a unified voice on issues that are important to them.
As for the fact that gerrymandering is the norm, there are signs that voters across the nation are getting fed up with it. Most notably, California instituted a new, nonpartisan redistricting commission in advance of this year's elections that has made them more competitive than at any time in a generation. Voting against Question 5 is the only clear way Maryland voters can signal to our elected leaders that we want that kind of change here.
The most coherent argument against the new districts is a picture of the maps themselves. They twist, they turn, they snake along narrow corridors and, in some instances, hop across the water. The 3rd District, represented by Democrat