Did the Pr.George’s Redistricting Commission miss an important deadline?

The Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee thinks so and guess what…they are right! According to Section 305 of the Prince George’s County Charter, the County Council “shall appoint, not later than February 1 of the year prior to the year in which redistricting is to be effective, a commission on redistricting.” The section also says that “By September 1 of the year prior to the year in which redistricting is to be effective, the Commission shall prepare, publish, and make available a plan of Council districts and shall present that plan, together with a report explaining it, to the Council.” Clearly the commission missed that deadline but the Fannie Lou Hamer PAC says that the 60 day legal deadline for the council to pass either a different plan from the one the commission develops still does start, the problem is a few county officials aren’t so sure. A source in the County Office of Law says he isn’t sure but the issue isn’t as black and white as the PAC is explaining it but declined to offer further comment.

Read the full email from the Fannie Lou Hamer PAC below and let us know either in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook about your thoughts.

Greeting Prince George’s County Residents,
Please be aware that on yesterday, Thursday, September 1, 2011, the Prince George’s County Council Redistricting Commission was required by the Prince George’s County Charter Regulations to release the Redistricting Commission proposed map to the County Council and the General Public.  Please note the the County Council has only 60 days to accept or modify the County Commission’s proposal.  The official 60 calendar day clock commenced on Friday, September 2, 2011.  See Link below.
This is important to be aware of since the Redistricting Commission’s final public hearing lacked precinct name, number, population counts for each district, and any racial demographic data.  Please note that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act requires that all redistricting proposals created in the State of Maryland have racial demographic data.  Also, population counts are required to ascertain the Federal Law governing Equal Population distributions.
Below is the link to the Redistricting Commision’s proposed map which currently does not contain the afformentioned data required by law.  If this is a concern to you, please contact your Prince George’s County Council member and request that this information be made available for public access and review.
Prince George’s County Redistricting Maps:  http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/Maps/index.asp
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