Maryland Del. Neil Parrott is scheduled to take Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough to court Thursday morning over language of the ballot measure that will decide whether the state keeps its controversial new congressional districts.
The measure McDonough approved for the ballot "is a mere 23 words and omits any reference to the fact that [the bill the General Assembly passed in October] makes material changes to existing congressional districts," according to the complaint, filed by Parrott, R-Washington County, in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
The districts were changed in the state's once-a-decade redistricting following demographic changes reported in the 2010 Census.
The new districts -- which opponents have said were gerrymandered to help elect an extra Democrat to Congress by diluting Republicans' former majority vote in western Maryland -- removed moved roughly 1.6 million Maryland residents from their previous districts, according to the lawsuit. This includes about 49 percent of residents in the Sixth Congressional District, where Democrats are trying to unseat 10-term incumbent Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.
The new legal proceeding comes just a few weeks after the Maryland Court of Appeals rejected an effort by map proponents to keep the issue off the ballot.