Democrats on the Howard County Councilmanic Redistricting Commission prevailed with a plan that concentrates the bulk of Democratic voters in three Columbia-based districts, while leaving most Republicans in the other two districts that cover the rural western county, Ellicott City and part of Elkridge. It is not a dramatic departure from current district lines.
[David Marker] turned to [Priscilla M. Hart], who was sitting next to him, and whispered "Priscilla, you can't vote for this!" Hart abstained on her own plan, and it failed on a 3-3 tie vote. Later, she said, "I was caught in the middle" and abstained "out of party loyalty."
The council district boundaries must be redrawn because the 2000 census showed the county had grown 32 percent over the previous decade, leaving District 3 covering Savage, North Laurel and parts of Columbia more than 9 percent under the ideal mathematical population of 49,568, while District 1, covering Ellicott City and Elkridge, was 5.5 percent over populated.
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