Challenge to map referendum fails

A Democratic Party-backed attempt to block a statewide referendum on Maryland's new congressional map failed Friday when a judge ordered that it be on the November ballot.

The Maryland Democratic State Central Committee filed suit last month challenging thousands of signatures on the referendum petitions. A decision by Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth upholding the referendum was posted Friday on the court's website.

Over the summer a conservative group backed by Del. Neil Parrott of Western Maryland collected enough signatures to trigger a referendum on the controversial map, which has been criticized by Republicans and some African American leaders. It will be one of three laws to go to the voters this year. A fourth question on gambling could also appear.

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