Newsworks (April 3, 2017) — After voting down Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to redraw the congressional districts, Maryland Democrats have offered a plan of their own: a six-state regional pact. If Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina agree to create independent commissions to redraw congressional districts more fairly by 2020, Maryland will too.
The idea is that these six state would even each other out — some would go more red while others would go more blue.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, won Pennsylvania by a narrow margin of 68,000 votes. The state has about 900,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.
And yet, 13 of the state’s 18 congressional seats are held by Republicans. One of the reasons for that imbalance is gerrymandering, the drawing of voting districts to benefit a political party. Pennsylvania is often ranked among the most gerrymandered states in the country.
In Pennsylvania, gerrymandering helps Republicans hold onto their seats. But in Maryland, Democrats have drawn the districts to their advantage. In both states — like most states in the country — the party in power would rather keep their majority, so it’s hard for redistricting efforts to get traction in the state legislature.