For the purposes of redistricting, the No Representation Without Population Act of 2010 (the Act) requires persons incarcerated in state or federal correctional facilities to be counted as residents of their last known address before incarceration. The Act also requires the exclusion of non-state resident inmates from the count to determine congressional and legislative districts. The 2020 Census of Population (P. L. 94-171) updated to comply with the Act is referred to as “Adjusted Data
” in this document.
All Plan proposals must be based on the 2020 Census of Population (P. L. 94-171) with population counts for Maryland adjusted data in accordance with the Act.
This adjusted data is available on the Redistricting website Data page (the “2020 Redistricting Data for in Maryland”) and should not be confused with the base Census data (P. L. 94-171) released on August 12, 2021. Redistricting submissions that are not based on the Adjusted 2020 Census Data might not meet acceptable parameters and potentially could be rejected by the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission).
Congress has given state legislatures authority to redistrict congressional seats. Congressional districts are required by federal law to be single member districts with equal population. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act (Section 2) also apply to congressional redistricting.
Article III, Sections 2, 3, and 4 of Maryland’s Constitution frames the requirements for state legislative districts, which are divided into districts for the Senate and House of Delegates. Each district contains one senator and three delegates. The Maryland Senate has 47 members, and each Senate district is a single member district. The Maryland House of Delegates has 141 members where each district may have multi-member districts or single member and multi-member districts.
Section 4 states legislative districts must:
- Be compact in form
- Have substantially equal population
- Have due regard for natural and political boundaries
Section 5 of the Maryland Constitution requires the Governor to prepare a state legislative districting plan following the decennial census. The Governor must present the plan to the President of the Maryland Senate and the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. The presiding officers must have the plan introduced as a joint resolution on the first day of the regular session in the second year following the decennial census (In this case that will be January 12, 2022). If the General Assembly has not adopted another redistricting plan by the 45th day of the session, the Governor's plan, as presented, becomes law.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act (Section 2) also apply to legislative redistricting.
Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order of January 12, 2021 creating the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission provides that state legislative districts proposed by the Commission shall, in addition to the above, be:
- As nearly equal in population as is feasible given due regard for natural boundaries and the boundaries of political subdivisions;
- To the extent possible and consistent with the Commission’s other duties and responsibilities, subdivided into single-member delegate districts;
- Numbered consecutively commencing at the northwestern boundary of the state and ending at the southeastern boundary of the state