Culleton: Carroll's landscape needs Code Home Rule ... and a little party switch

The U.S. Census is taken every 10 years. After each census, election districts at the federal and state levels are redrawn.

In the most recent redistricting, the residents of Carroll County got hosed.

For congressional representation the county is split in two, one district occupied by a Republican from the Eastern Shore and one district occupied by a Democrat from the Washington D.C. suburbs.

But wait, it gets worse.

For representation in Annapolis the so-called Carroll County Delegation could be better described as our Foreign Legion.

In the House of Delegates, we will have three Carroll County residents and five residents from Frederick and Howard counties.

How did this happen? Why are we the Rodney Dangerfield among Maryland counties?

The answer is simple. We have no representation in the body that counts in Annapolis, the Democratic Caucus of the House of Delegates. And we are so reliably Republican that no one bothers to consider our votes worthy of any attention. The new lines aim to keep it that way.

So what can we do about it? Very little, it seems.

But perhaps the wings of the Carroll County Republican Party can agree to one change: It is time to institute Code Home Rule.

That would mean that some of the decision making for Carroll would get moved from the delegation to the Board of County Commissioners. Nothing else changes. No new costs are incurred.

There is still time to get that change on the November ballot.

Diligent readers of this column know that the author is no fan of the current Board of County Commissioners.

But better the devil you know than the you don't. We can at least hope that, with a board given increased authority, voters will pay more attention to the Republican Primary in 2014.

During the 2010 election, most of the successful candidates got less than 50 percent of the total vote in the primary. If Republicans can coalesce around reasonable candidates before the primary, and with a good voter turnout, perhaps we'd see a change for the better.

As for a "fixing" the delegate map — well, I think a more radical solution is the only one that will work.

In the 2020 election a large number of Carroll County residents who vote for our three at large delegates will need to vote Democratic.

With one or more delegates from Carroll County in the Democratic Caucus, perhaps we can get a map that gives us the bulk of our delegation back again.

This columnist may not be around in 2020 to remind you. So mark it in your calendar.

And tell your kids. Many of them will be old enough to vote by then.

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