Maryland Democrats safely control both houses of the state legislature, along with the governorship. What a great opportunity to draw a bold Republican-screwing congressional map! See, they want to turn the state from a 6-2 Democrat advantage in the House of Representatives to a 7-1 advantage. How do you do that? Well, look at the funny squiggly picture up top, also known as a "Maryland redistricting draft map."
Maryland appears close to finalizing this proposal. (A more recent edit, which you can see on the last page here, appears to make some cosmetic tweaks but basically keeps the same structure; we're using the one up top because it's easier to read.) The idea here is to pack as many Republicans as possible into District 1 — the enormous yellow area encompassing rural areas in northern and eastern parts of the state. Other districts, then, would bend and twist to suck up huge amounts of Democratic votes in the strongholds of Baltimore and the Washington D.C. suburbs.
The seat that Democrats would hope to take from Republicans is that of District 6 — the dark green one — which currently represents a long, horizontal band stretching from west to east along the northern part of the state — Republican country — but would now dip southward into the D.C. suburbs. This means that now might be a good time for District 6's 85-year-old Republican Rep. Roscoe Barlett to retire after his two decades in Congress.
What fun! But maybe this isn't the funniest picture of all. Is your state cooking up a map that looks even more comical than Maryland's? Let us know.
[Image via The FreeStater Blog]