In Maryland governor’s race, Mizeur proposes turning over redistricting to independent panel

File: Del. Heather R. Mizeur chats with people attending a town hall on climate change in Silver Spring last year. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
March 26, 2014

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur put forward a plan Wednesday to establish an independent commission to redraw the state’s congressional and legislative boundaries, pledging to put an end to partisan gerrymandering.

Under current practice, the governor has the power to redraw district lines every 10 years with the consent of the General Assembly.

The result has been “a process whereby politicians manipulate boundaries to favor the party in power and reward certain legislators over others,” Mizeur, a state delegate from Montgomery County, says in her plan, which calls Maryland’s current congressional districts “worst in the nation in compactness.”

Under Mizeur’s plan, members of the redistricting commission would be selected by a panel of auditors and would have to be free of conflicts of interest.

California and nine others states use some form of an independent or bipartisan redistricting commission.

Mizeur faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in the June Democratic primary.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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