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Maryland congressional redistricting reform bill voted down

Maryland's 3rd Congressional District has been criticized for its gerrymandered shape. (The Daily Record / Jason Whong - Uses data from OpenStreetMap contributors, Maryland Department of Planning and CartoDB.)

Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District has been criticized for its gerrymandered shape. (The Daily Record / Jason Whong – Uses data from OpenStreetMap contributors, Maryland Department of Planning and CartoDB.)ass

ANNAPOLIS — A Maryland House panel has voted against Gov. Larry Hogan’s redistricting reform bill, but a Senate committee has passed a bill to create a mid-Atlantic compact for drawing congressional district lines.

The Republican governor’s bill rejected Monday would have put redistricting in the hands of an independent commission.

Leaders in the Democrat-controlled legislature say partisan gerrymandering in drawing congressional districts is a national problem. But they say with the federal government failing to lead, they support a regional approach.

The bill would create a compact with New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. If all six states enter the compact, an independent commission would draw district lines.

Government watchdog group Common Cause supported Hogan’s bill. It says the compact measure creates a false promise of reform.