MARYLAND & THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


[photo, U.S. Capital (from First St., SE), Washington, DC] Based on the 2010 federal census, Maryland has eight U.S. Representatives elected to serve two-year terms (Code Election Law Article, secs. 8-701 through 8-711). They represent Maryland in the 115th Congress, which convened on January 3, 2017.

Congress meets in session at least once every year (U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, sec. 4). Since 1934, the first session of Congress has been held on the third day of January unless a different day has been appointed by law (U.S. Constitution, Amendment 20, sec. 2). From 1789 to 1933, Congress convened on the first Monday in December unless another day was set by law (U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, sec. 4).

U.S. Capitol (from First St., SE), Washington, DC, December 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Longworth House Office Building, Independence Ave., Washington, DC] Today, the United States House of Representatives consists of 435 members. Its members are chosen every two years by the voters of the respective states. Each state's legislature prescribes when its elections are to be held for U.S. Representatives (U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, sec. 4). Since 1868, Maryland has elected its U.S. Representatives on the first Tuesday in November of each even-numbered year.


Longworth House Office Building, Independence Ave., Washington, DC, December 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Cannon House Office Building, Independence Ave., Washington, DC] After each federal census, Congress determines the number of representatives for each state on the basis of population (U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, sec. 2).

Over the years, the number of representatives from Maryland has fluctuated:


Cannon House Office Building, Independence Ave., Washington, DC, December 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, U.S. Capitol  (from First St., SE), Washington, DC] Boundaries of Maryland's Congressional election districts are defined by legislation enacted by the General Assembly. These boundaries have changed over time, and they continue to change. Local boards of election supervisors are empowered to redefine precinct boundaries but cannot alter the election districts or wards designated by the Legislature. Consequently, the boundaries defined by law for some modern Congressional districts may have undergone changes at the precinct level between enactments of the General Assembly (Code 1957, Art. 33, sec. 2-12).

U.S. Capitol (from First St., SE), Washington, DC, December 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


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