Among the many questions on the November ballot, Question 5 — on congressional redistricting — is important for all Marylanders, despite the lack of advertising and publicity compared with other questions.
The ballot wording is confusing, so it is important for voters understand that Question 5 is on whether to ratify the new map, enacted by the General Assembly last year, for continued use in 2014-2020.
I urge my fellow Marylanders of both parties to vote against Question 5.
While itís one thing for the new map to disadvantage a political party, I am much more concerned about how the new map also disadvantages and effectively disenfranchises certain rural and suburban Marylanders by tying together these small population areas with distant and unrelated large population areas using thin ribbons.
In this manner, northern Frederick and Carroll counties have been tied with a ribbon into the new 8th (mostly lower Montgomery County), central Anne Arundel County was tied into the new 4th (mostly western Prince Georgeís County), and much of northern Baltimore County was tied into the new 7th (mostly Baltimore city).
The new map can be seen on the stateís web site at www.mdp.state.md.us/redistricting/2010/congDist.shtml
If we vote against Question 5 and reject the map, the governor and General Assembly will have to enact a new map — hopefully with more cohesive districts — for use in our 2014-2020 elections.
Steve Shapiro, Bethesda