Possible Redistricting Would Affect Parts of Severna Park
Some areas around Severna Park may be moved out of the 1st District into the 4th District that is mostly in Prince George's County.
Maryland redistricts every 10 years, using U.S. Census population data to redraw electoral districts and boundary lines based on changes in population, and the growth in Anne Arundel County calls for some changes.
Parts of Severna Park, Broadneck, Pasadena, Edgewater and Crofton may all find themselves in different congressional districts if a plan proposed by the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee (GRAC) is approved.
The plan moves the Broadneck peninsula and parts of Severna Park from the mostly Republican District 1, consisting of nine Eastern Shore counties represented by Rep. Andy Harris (R) to the mostly Democrat District 4, represented by Rep. Donna Edwards (D).
The plan also splits Pasadena between District 4 and District 3, represented by Rep. John Sarbanes (D).
A redrawn congressional map released Tuesday reveals the county will be split among four districts and moves the Broadneck peninsula out of the 1st District into the 4th District. The proposed redistricting plan for the 4th District connects the communities of central and upper Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties.
The thought process behind the proposed changes to the 1st District was to keep it from extending from the rural Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay into the more "urban areas" of Anne Arundel County.
The proposed plan by the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee states that around 70 percent of Maryland residents will stay in their current congressional district. In addition, the proposal does not move any incumbent congressman out of his or her district.
"The map we are submitting today conforms with State and federal law and incorporates the 331 comments we received from the public during our 12 regional hearings around the State," said Secretary Jeanne Hitchcock, chair of the Advisory Committee in a release. "We have developed a plan that reflects the population shifts, demographics and strengths of our State."
Public hearings were held leading up to the release of the proposed plan. (The county meeting was to be held at Anne Arundel Community College on Aug. 30 but was moved to Annapolis when the college was closed in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.)
The proposed plan is open for public comment until Oct. 11. Comments may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted online. A special legislative session will be held on Oct. 17 to discuss the redistricting plan.
Gov. Martin O’Malley will consider the proposed plan and will introduce his own plan to the General Assembly during its special session on Oct. 17.
See Amy Leahy's blog post on the topic of redistricting.