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Make fairness a core value in Baltimore County redistricting | READER COMMENTARY

State Sen. Dolores Kelley speaks at a press conference to call on Baltimore County Council to start over with the proposed county redistricting plan. Oct. 12, 2021. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun).
State Sen. Dolores Kelley speaks at a press conference to call on Baltimore County Council to start over with the proposed county redistricting plan. Oct. 12, 2021. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun). (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore County can become a beacon of fairness in redistricting for the nation, but we’ll just be another gerrymandered county if we adopt either of the plans described in recent coverage in The Baltimore Sun (“‘Your voice was loud and clear’: After public opposition, Baltimore County Council chair says he’ll seek to redraw redistricting maps,” Oct. 26).

Instead, we should enact into law, the following redistricting principles. First, there must be one person, one vote. It’s the law of the land, and redistricting should uphold it. Second, there should be no discontinuous election districts. A politician should be able to visit each voter in a district without ever leaving the district.

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Third, no oddly shaped districts. Districts may be geographically larger or smaller depending on the population density, but they must be basically rectangular unless they are constrained by county or state borders or rivers.

And finally, election districts should be designed by a computer algorithm that is blinded to the race, religion or political affiliation of the people who live in the resulting districts.

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Henry Farkas, Pikesville

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