Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he will try again for the fourth consecutive year to make congressional redistricting a nonpartisan process. Hogan, a Republican, said he will submit legislation in the next session to create an independent commission to draw congressional and state legislative districts. Now, the governor and lawmakers craft them. Hogan has made the reform proposal in each of his three years as governor, but it has not advanced. The governor said reforming the process for drawing the districts for members of Congress and the state legislature is widely supported, by citizens as well as interest groups that care about free and fair elections on both sides of the political aisle.
“The legislature refuses to take that up,” Hogan said at a news conference he called to discuss plans to expand on an initiative to boost job creation in the state. “I think that’s a mistake on their part to go against 90 percent of the people in the state.”
Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly say reforms to the redistricting process should be undertaken at the federal level, or at least with a regional approach. This year, Maryland lawmakers passed a redistricting bill to put the process in the hands of an independent board, if five other states in the region also agreed to the changes.
But Hogan vetoed the measure, saying it was “a political ploy” to block real reform.