On January 12, 2021, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order forming the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Commission is charged with revising the congressional and legislative district lines in a fair and impartial manner. Governor Hogan appointed three co-chairs of the Commission who will proceed accordingly with the charge of the Executive Order. The Commission was expanded with an additional six members from the public who applied online. The Commission held a first round of eight virtual public meetings in June and July 2021 for public input and feedback during the plan drawing phase. The last round of public meetings will be held in October for public testimony on the Commission’s Congressional and Legislative plan proposal. Members of the public are also able to submit map recommendations electronically in acceptable formats using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and adjusted in accordance with Maryland law which requires that all incarcerated individuals be reallocated back to their last known address prior to incarceration.
Maryland, like all states, must draw new congressional districts (U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 2) and state legislative districts every ten years (Maryland Constitution Article III, Section 5) based on the principal of one-person one-vote following the decennial Census of the United States. The redistricting process begins with the decennial Census count and then the delivery of the population data to the states the following year. Census data was delayed due to deadline changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivery of this data was sent to the states on August 12, 2021.
The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission began reviewing the findings, held public hearings, and have bgun to receive 3rd party plans. The Commission will then provide its proposed congressional and legislative plans to the governor who will then submit his plans to the Maryland General Assembly as bills for passage into law. These new districts are then adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor.
The timeline for apportionment and redistricting is dependent on the delivery of Census data which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to original deadlines by the U.S. Census Bureau. Therefore, a comprehensive timeline of events is reliant on the release of the data.
- On February 12th, the USCB released an announcement that the data used for redistricting will be distributed to the states “by September 30th”. Once the data is received, it must be adjusted in compliance with Maryland law to have incarcerated individuals reallocated to their last known address. This is required at the local and municipal level as well as the congressional and state level. We are prepared to have that process begin as soon as we receive the data and estimate that it may take at least an additional 30 days to accomplish completion of this task before final data is available.
- Update on 2020 Census Data and Redistricting. Secretary of Planning Robert McCord recently sent a letter to the chairs of Maryland's Complete Count Committees providing information on the current schedule for the Census Bureau's release of data and the subsequent redistricting process. Click here to view the letter. - January 29, 2021
- Governor Hogan announces the co-chairs of the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission as Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. (D), Walter Olson (R), and Dr. Kathleen Hetherington (I)
- January 12, 2021
- Applications for Commission membership due - February 11, 2021
- Round 1 of public meetings held by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission: June - July, 2021
- Release of Data: First release in original format on August 12, 2021 and final release in new format expected by September 30, 2021*
- Reallocation of prisoners to last known address: completed and released on September 2, 2021
- Lines are drawn/drafting process: September - November 2021
- Legislative district plan sent to Maryland General Assembly: Due by January 12, 2022
- Enactment: Final date for Maryland General Assembly to act on plan February 26, 2022
- Please click here for a more detailed timeline of the full redistricting process.
*The Census Bureau has announced it will release the final data in a newer format than it has used in the past. While it is anticipated there will not be substantial differences between the original format and the new format, the USCB cannot guarantee the data will be identical. No maps will be accepted to the Commission until the new format is accessible and validated.