FREDERICK COUNTY, MD - Petition organizers spent months collecting signatures against Maryland's congressional redistricting map, and it paid off. The measure will be on next month's ballot.
"It's a horrible map because it divides our whole community. Western Maryland has had a long-time history of Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, and Carroll Counties. We have a lot of similarities in economies, people," said Sen. David Brinkley, (R) - Frederick County.
"It's going to be an interesting vote because I don't think most people actually care, and it hasn't been a lot of discussion about it one way or another," said Sen. Ron Young, (D) - Frederick and Washington Counties.
The new map splits Frederick County in half, with the northern part in District 8 and southern part in District 6.
District 6 now runs into Montgomery County, and many Republicans say this makes it harder for incumbent Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, also a Republican, to win.
"The Democrat Central Committee in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties refused to endorse this map because they recognize the gerrymandering that went on here was just simply to preserve the current incumbents, the Democratic incumbents, and come after Congressman Bartlett," Brinkley said.
However, Young doesn't see a problem with dividing Frederick County and thinks the county may be able to get more federal money with two congressmen.
"I think with two strong congressman representing Frederick County, we have a much better chance than one that's opposed to taking those type of funds," Young said. "There can be an argument that maybe the federal government shouldn't be in that business, but they are, and as long as they are, I would like to see Frederick County well represented,"
This referendum will appear as question five on the ballot. It will read:
(Ch. 1 of the 2011 Special Session)
Congressional Districting Plan
Establishes the boundaries for the State's eight United States Congressional Districts based on recent census figures, as required by the United States Constitution.
For the Referred Law
Against the Referred Law"
WHAG will show you the ballot question on charter government in Frederick County in the final part of the five-part series.