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Franchot wants commission to decide redistricting

Maryland's Congressional Redistricting Map (Source: Maryland Department of Planning)

Joining other Montgomery County Democrats speaking out against Maryland’s Congressional Redistricting Map, Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot said Thursday that voters should say no to Question 5 on Election Day.

“I am a Democrat, and I like to win elections as much of the next guy,” Franchot said in a statement, sent after he made the comments on WBAL Radio’s The C4 Show. “But not by fixing the outcome and not by compromising our state’s reputation by making a mockery of the electoral process.”

A federal judge called the map a “blatant political gerrymander,” an attempt to keep Democratic strongholds just that and to make the Republican-held 6th Congressional District more Democratic by moving in a large swath of northern Montgomery County.

The map was successfully petitioned to referendum by opponents this summer.

Franchot said a bipartisan commission should be put in charge of determining redistricting. Gov. Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly are presently responsible for the map.

“The people of Maryland should send a message to their leaders in Annapolis by voting no on Question 5. Our leaders were driven by partisan motives when coming up with the proposed map and not by the public interest,” Franchot said. “The map that resulted from the redistricting process has embarrassed our state, diminished public access to their elected representatives and further eroded public confidence in our political process.”

Democratic Montgomery County Council members have already organized an opposition group.