ANNAPOLIS —Opponents of Maryland’s congressional redistricting map said Monday they are confident that they have submitted enough valid signatures to give voters a chance to reject it in November.
Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, and several other Republican lawmakers discussed their petition drive Monday during a press conference at Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis.
Parrott said he is confident that enough signatures will be verified as valid by the Maryland State Board of Elections, based on the percentage of verified signatures submitted in the past.
“The citizens of Maryland have spoken; now is the time to let the people vote,” Parrott said during the press conference. “With the number of signatures that were turned in Friday, I am optimistic that the Board of Elections will certify the results and that Marylanders will be able to have a chance to vote on the congressional redistricting map in November’s election.”
Critics say Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s redistricting map, which was approved by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly late last year, has been gerrymandered to favor Democrats at the expense of fair representation.
Anne Arundel County residents accounted for the greatest number of signatures, with 13,514. Baltimore County was second with 10,389; followed by Washington County, 8,540; and Frederick County, 7,152.
In March, Parrott said if voters approve a referendum and reject the congressional map, it would mean the legislature would have to approve a new map, or a court could decide new boundaries for 2014.
Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, states redraw congressional boundaries to reflect shifts, gains and losses in population in congressional districts.
In the 2012 map, the 6th District, which includes Washington County, retains Garrett and Allegany counties, but loses portions of Carroll and Frederick counties, while extending southeast into Montgomery County.
Republican Roscoe Bartlett is running for re-election against Democratic nominee John Delaney in the 6th District.