Politics

Judge orders new districting map for Baltimore, saying current map will disenfranchise black voters

A federal judge ordered Baltimore County officials to redraw a new County Council district map by March 8, saying the map presented by the officials will prevent black voters from electing their preferred candidates.

U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby ordered the new maps to be drawn in no more than two weeks, and ordered that the new drawings must include either “reasonably compact” majority-Black districts or must include an additional district that meets the expectations set forth in the federal Voting Rights Act, and in which Black voters “otherwise have an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice.”

The county was sued in December by the ACLU and civil rights groups including the Baltimore NAACP over the current map, saying it violated the Voting Rights Act. The map included only one Black voting district out of seven, in spite of there being a Black majority in Baltimore County.

The judge wrote that while the county has made “important strides” to remedy discrimination in housing, education and employment, “there can be no genuine dispute that past discrimination in these areas continues to hinder the ability of Black county voters to participate effectively in the political processes.”

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BALTIMORE SUN

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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