ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland's June 26 primary will allow Democratic voters in most counties to vote for central party positions based on gendered seats.

The Washington Post reports the new rules come as the number of Maryland women running for office surge. There are no women in Maryland's congressional delegation nor top statewide elective offices. State party chair Kathleen Matthews says reserving an equal number of seats for men and women will help groom women for higher office.

The Democratic National Committee has often appointed non-voting members to meet parity rules on central committees.

Democrat Edward Kimmel of Takoma Park says the new policy is discriminatory because he may have to vote for candidates he doesn't agree with.

Seventeen counties will follow the policy in June, and it will be statewide by 2022.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com