The Maryland congressional map will now will be put before Maryland voters for consideration, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
The Maryland Board of Elections certified on Wednesday that MDPetitions.org, the same group responsible for putting Maryland's same-sex marriage law up for a vote, had turned in enough signatures to qualify the issue for a referendum.
Here's the latest information on the issues facing Maryland referendums this November.
* It was necessary to turn in 55,736 valid signatures to land it on the ballot. According to the Associated Press, 56,323 signatures had been validated.
* Delegate Neil Parrott had led the petition drive, saying that "the map that was presented by the governor divides Maryland communities and minorities all across the state," according to the AP. Parrott is a Washington County Republican.
* Most of the signatures came from Anne Arundel County where 12,179 names were drawn from. Baltimore County followed with 9,497, then the western counties of Frederick with 6,383 and Washington with 6,375 signatures, the AP reported.
* MDPetitions describes itself as an online means of pulling together valid signatures for issues, and complained about the legislative process in Annapolis. "Often these laws were passed on the last day of the legislative session and buried so that many voters did not even know they were passed," the website asserted in its about section. "These laws were passed without any viable check from the Maryland voters and over the objections of minorities in the legislature."
* WBAL 1090 AM reported on Tuesday that the same-sex marriage law had also received enough signatures at the end of May. 122,481 signatures were submitted in May, followed by another 39,743 signatures by the end of June. The June signatures will not be reviewed due to enough signatures having been collected in May.
* Same-sex marriage and the congressional map will go on the ballot to possibly override the legislature, along with Maryland's version of the DREAM Act.
* If the congressional map is rejected by voters, lawmakers will be forced to redraw the map in time for the 2014 election cycle.
* Laws have not been reviewed by the Maryland public in two decades, making these three referendum a new experience for many Maryland voters.
* The Washington Times said that the last time a congressional map was changed by petition was in 1962. The Maryland League of Women Voters put the matter to a referendum, resulting in the map being redrawn three years later.
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington D.C. in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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