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Mr. Parrott also said organizers hope they’ll have enough signatures to withstand a possible lawsuit from opponents if the state rules the petition to be successful.

“We have to make sure we have an educated estimate,” he said.

The petition effort has looked like a long shot throughout much of the process, as opponents and political analysts have expressed doubt whether voters truly have enough interest in redistricting to call for a redrawing of the state’s congressional districts.

Even if petitioners clear Thursday’s hurdle, they would still have to collect more than 30,000 signatures in the next month, requiring them to collect signatures at a much faster rate than they have over the past two months.

Todd Eberly, coordinator of public policy studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, said there simply isn’t enough public interest to sustain the petition drive.

He said gerrymandering has caused much of the polarization in Congress today and citizens should be concerned, but most only have a vague idea of how the process works.

“It is an issue that the public simply does not care about,” he said in an email, later adding, “It takes a hot-button issue to get the signatures required to get to the ballot.”