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Maryland Redistricting Plan Signed Into Law

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After a week of heated debate, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley has signed a new Congressional district map into law, ending a special session of the state's general assembly.

An interactive version of the map can be found on the Maryland Department of Planning website.

The session took four days to produce the new district map, which O'Malley first proposed last weekend. Both branches of the general assembly passed the plan with supermajorities, meaning the new maps will be in place for next April's primary election.  

The easy passage of the new districts came despite intense opposition from Republicans, who felt the governor's plan was politically motivated to oust GOP Congressman Roscoe Bartlett in western Maryland. Under the map, District Six sees the biggest change. Most of western Maryland will be paired with a sizable chunk of Montgomery County. A few Democrats resisted too, feeling the new districts dilute the voting interest of the state's growing minority populations.

"The very people who provided that milk for your cereal this morning, you'll go ahead and say to them 'Not only are we going to stick it to you everyday with our regulations, but now we're going to take away your voice to the national government,'" says GOP delegate Kathryn Afzali of Frederick County, who equated the move to "declaring war on farmers and rural Maryland."

Supporters of the plan countered that more than 50,000 people have moved from Montgomery County to Frederick County over the past decade, bringing the two once-disparate political regions more in line.

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