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Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting for Harford, Cecil and Carroll scheduled for Wednesday

The first round of meetings on Maryland’s legislative and congressional redistricting for Harford, Carroll and Cecil counties will be held virtually Wednesday night.

The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission will hold the meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to get public feedback on its task of redrawing political districts. Though the meeting is specifically focused for residents of Harford, Carroll and Cecil counties, anyone can attend.

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Primarily a listening session, the meeting will open with a review of the timeline and plans for the commission before opening to public comment. Instructions for submitting comment are available on the commission’s website.

This meeting is the first of three, the commission announced; the second will occur when the census data is distributed to states, and the third will come after the commission has drafted legislative and congressional maps.

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The meeting will be closed captioned and have live Spanish translation, the commission said in a news release.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, created the commission to redraw Maryland’s notoriously gerrymandered congressional districts in January. Redistricting was scheduled to occur upon completion of the 2020 U.S. Census.

The governor has the power to propose General Assembly and congressional district maps, but state lawmakers can substitute their own General Assembly map. If those lawmakers want to propose a congressional map, they would have to pass their own bill and potentially marshal three-fifths support to override a veto.

Northern portions of Harford and Carroll counties, and all of Cecil County, are part of the First Congressional District, currently represented by Maryland’s only Republican representative, Andy Harris, who is seeking a seventh term.

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Southern Harford County is part of District 2 and currently represented by Democrat Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger. The southern portion of Carroll County is represented by Democrat Jamie Raskin in Congressional District 8.

A listening session already has been held for Eastern Shore counties. The first round of commission meetings will continue with sessions for Southern and Western Maryland counties later this month. A July 7 session will focus on Anne Arundel and Howard counties, and Baltimore City. A meeting focused entirely on Baltimore County will take place July 12, followed by meetings on Montgomery and Prince George’s counties July 21 and 28, respectively.

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