Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion

Redistricting still an embarrassment

The outcome of the recent referendum notwithstanding, the process and result of congressional redistricting in Maryland was a disgrace and remains a badge of shame for the state ("Against Question 5," Nov. 6). It would be hard to imagine a clearer case of politicians choosing their voters, rather than the other way around, undermining the fundamental purpose of the election process. But that was the only transparent part of this exercise, since the actual wording of the referendum question seemed intended to mislead.

A "yes" vote was not presented as an endorsement of the recent gerrymander but as establishing the boundaries of the state's U.S. congressional districts based on recent census figures, as required by the U.S. Constitution. What sensible citizen would support an unconstitutional outcome — unless that citizen had already been elected to office in Maryland? If John Sarbanes' 3rd District map were superimposed on a 20-year-old map of South Africa, a reasonable observer would take for granted that such a political alignment was intended to undermine the political rights of the unfortunates collected there.

And so it was, and so it is.

John Walsh, Washington, D.C.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Partisan redistricting undermines representative democracy [Letter]
    Partisan redistricting undermines representative democracy [Letter]

    I read with interest the recent article "Carroll conservatives clash with Van Hollen" (Nov. 12). I could readily relate to Carroll County Republican Bill Schroeder's statement — "We have nothing in common with Montgomery County — absolutely nothing" — concerning his...

  • Straddling the city-county divide
    Straddling the city-county divide

    In a recent editorial you noted that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who lives in Prince George's County, followed the traditional formula of appealing to the Baltimore region by choosing Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate ("Twin controversies for Gansler," Oct. 14).