Press Release: New Independent, Nonpartisan Redistricting Advocacy Organization "Fair Maps Maryland" Announces Launch
ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 30, 2021)—Fair Maps Maryland, a new, independent, nonpartisan organization advocating for a fair redistricting process, launched today with a 60-second digital ad highlighting Maryland as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. The organization also announced its first two board members: former State Senator James Brochin (D-42) and former Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman ®.
Fair Maps Maryland is dedicated to abolishing politically motivated gerrymandering and for the full implementation of a nonpartisan redistricting plan. Specifically, Fair Maps Maryland is working to ensure the electoral maps created by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission are accepted by the Maryland General Assembly and enacted into law.
“Gerrymandering is bad—it’s an undemocratic stain on our country and the state of Maryland,” said Fair Maps Maryland spokesman Doug Mayer. “Obvious attempts to disenfranchise voters only happen in a state like Maryland, when voters don’t have a clear understanding of what is happening and why. Fair Maps Maryland will drag this shady practice into the light and force politicians committed to drawing hyper-partisan districts to defend this practice. Ultimately, we hope that all members of the Maryland General Assembly will do what they know in their hearts is right and once again position our state as a leader in the fight for voting rights.”
While most states suffer from gerrymandering, Maryland is one of the worst offenders in the nation. The 2010 redistricting process disenfranchised voters and manipulated election outcomes. With the next reapportionment process about to begin, an opportunity exists to return Maryland electoral districts to normalcy, with recognizable and common-sense shapes and sizes.
“Gerrymandering not only attempts to silence political opponents, but it also discourages progress and innovation by preventing the free exchange of ideas and deepening political division,” said former Senator Jim Brochin. “I look forward to being part of Fair Maps Maryland and working hard so that every Marylander, in every corner of our state, can enjoy their right to free and fair elections.”
Created by Executive Order, the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission is tasked with creating fair electoral maps. However, there is no guarantee that the Maryland General Assembly will accept the new maps and enact them into law. While many legislators readily acknowledge that gerrymandering needs to end and voting is a civil rights issue, many refuse to do anything about it.
“Ensuring fair electoral maps for Marylanders isn’t just about good government and serving the public in the present moment - it’s also about safeguarding our democratic processes for the future,” said former Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. “Over time, gerrymandering has eroded voting rights on both sides of the aisle, across our country. As Marylanders, and as Americans, we must stand up for what is right and set an example for the rest of the nation.”
Fair Maps Maryland is an independent, non-profit organization of Marylanders dedicated to abolishing politically motivated gerrymandering and the full implementation of nonpartisan redistricting. Specifically, Fair Maps Maryland is working to ensure that the electoral maps created by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission are accepted by the Maryland General Assembly and enacted into law.