Looking Ahead to Redistricting the General Assembly, Part I

Today, I begin a series looking at the likely impact of redistricting the General Assembly based on the latest population estimates for 2020. Note that the estimates are based on the population–not the population after the prison population has been redistributed to their homes as required by Maryland law.

Western Maryland

This region of the State was slightly underrepresented–at least before the prison population was redistributed–with two districts after 2010 but will merit exactly this number in 2020. District 1A, centered on Garrett, may need to take in a bit more of Allegany with Garrett comprising just over two-thirds of the district.

District 1B can remain wholly within Allegany but District 1C may need to move further into Washington County to make up the numbers depending upon how the lines are drawn. The remainder of Washington will remain District 2.

Eastern Shore

Except for Wicomico, all Eastern Shore counties will merit very slightly less representation in Annapolis in 2020. The changes, however, are so small that few alterations should be expected unless mapmakers want to realign boundaries for other reasons, such as efforts to shore up or to weaken Sen. Jim Mathias (D 38).

District 38’s subdistricts could also be rearranged. Prior to 2010, there were two instead of three subdistricts with the smaller of the two centered on Somerset. Democrats will surely want to keep District 38A and to keep it attached to African-American sections of Worcester in the hopes that—if Democrats ever bother to invest in upping Somerset’s abysmal Democratic turnout—they could win a second delegate seat on the Shore. For now, it remains heavily Republican with incumbent Del. Otto winning easily with 60% in 2014.

District 37A will need to remain in place to protect African-American representation and satisfy the requirements of the Voting Rights Act. Democrats will want to keep it as it is the only district on the Shore certain to elect a Democrat.