Redistricting disenfranchises Montgomery’s minorities -- Gazette.Net


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Residents of Montgomery County should be very concerned about the distribution of minority voters in Montgomery County in the legislative map proposed by the Gov. O'Malley's Redistricting Advisory Committee.

Montgomery County's population is more than 50 percent racial minorities. So one would expect that at least four of the eight legislative districts in Montgomery County would have 50 percemt minority populations (if not more). However in the map proposed by the GRAC, only two out of the eight legislative districts contain minorities in excess of 50 percent.

This seems to be clear evidence that minority voters were "packed" into these two districts to reduce their representation in the assembly and protect incumbent white officeholders. This is wrong. And I believe it violates the federal voting rights act. It is disappointing that our county's legislative leadership in Annapolis is so far silent in the face of this proposed injustice.

I very respectfully urge O'Malley to propose a map that doesn't disenfranchise minorities in the way that the GRAC has proposed.

Saqib Ali, North Potomac

The letter writer represented Montgomery County in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2007 to January 2011.