Gerrymandering is a brazen abuse of political power. It is almost as bad as the
Russians interfering in our elections. Gerrymandering has profound consequences
in our elections and democratic process. It should not be allowed in one single
state, whichever party it benefits. It should be illegal with severe
consequences for doing it.
Both "sides" are proposing gerrymandering. Whether the position is
considered gerrymandering comes down to who gets hurt. The only clear option
would be grids which expand or contract to the required population. All other
proposals are attempts create unjustifiable balances which valid debates would
make unnecessary. Create the grids and allow debate within those grids to
determine which way the vote goes.
I am truly amazed at the twisted logic that says that SLC and its environs ought
to be carved up and exiled into Right Wing areas with the effect of diluting a
distinct area of importance.Amazing, truly amazing. And all about
raw exercise of power.
Most legislators in Utah have affiliation with the LDS Church, personally and
through relationships.LDS believe:“We believe that
governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men
accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and
administering them, for the good and safety of society.2 We believe
that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held
inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the
right and control of property, and the protection of life.”Honesty and integrity is a requirement for a government to be trustworthy.Government in Utah and nationally should be onboard with these behavior
Gerrymandering is a form of racism and White privilage.
It is a shame but this has existed and executed by all political factions who
seek for power over others since our Constitution. But no one is so effective as
certain King Men who want complete control. By controlling certain small areas
they have managed to lever Congress to the point of paralysis. Is the Speaker of
the House supported by a majority of the voters or just a small faction? Great
job certain brothers. I am afraid if I mention names this won't be posted.
All states should have districts drawn up by independent commissions.
Matheson held a seat for a decade until the 2010 census when his district was
chopped up and spread across strong republican districts. There hasn’t
been a meaningful race since then. Democrats haven’t done themselves any
favors with some of their candidates but they’ve run plenty of reasonable
options. A fun game I used to play was to blindly read someone the platform of
the republican and democratic candidates and have them guess which was which.
More often than not, they would guess the democrat was the republican. Many Utah
Democrats would be considered conservative in many other states.
Great opinion by the D-News!If it took the disenfranchising of
Navajo voters for the D-News to come out against Gerrymandering... I'll
take it.The case in Wisconsin is particularly offensive to anyone
who cares about citizens having the right to vote for who will represent them.
62% of votes cast for Democrats translates into a Republican majority in the
This is definitely an issue where the courts can make right some wrongs and
should. But how about the electoral college. There is no indication this has
served us very well except to disenfranchise voters in many of the politically
one sided states. Why not take the banner of “count my vote”. Every governor and every senator must focus on their entire
constituency. That is not the case in a presidential elections.
There is a vast amount of ignorance displayed by the folks commenting on this
article. Just accept that the dominant party in any state will draw boundaries
favorable to themselves. Drawing a safe Democrat district is just as bad as
drawing a safe Republican one. Stop whining and start working for
your preferred party, if you don't like it. These districts are legally
drawn - so get over it. If you don't think they are, then sue the
@one old manDo the math.If all the democrats in Utah were to
move to one district, they couldn't carry a national candidate. Not even
with 100% turnout.The San Juan County problem does not affect the
state as a whole.By putting all the democrats in one district, you
COULD pretty much guarantee one Member of Congress. As it stands now, you'd
have to move closer together. Even gerrymandering wouldn't work. The
trouble is red pockets in your way. And the fertility rate gets in
your way....and HAFB...and Davis County...and Draper...and West Jordan...It's complicated.
But, but, but . . . how in the world could a GOPer be elected in Utah if their
districts were not gerrymandered.Are you really proposing that
elections should be FAIR?Make America Sane (and Safe) Again
@Flashback - Kearns, UT"Shelby's "expert" is most
likely a liberal. Interesting to see what will happen. Political gerrymandering
is fine, racial is not:- - - - - -Racial gerrymandering is PRECISELY
what has occurred in San Juan county.
A thought: An “independent” commission (or anything) is a figment
of the imagination. It belongs in the bin with “the check is in the
mail”, and “my dog ate my homework”. I do not favor
independent commissions in anything political.Another: Judges are
neither independent nor non-partisan. They are creatures of the political
process. Their sense of empowerment to correct wrongs, perceived and actual,
can be dangerous if not checked.
I agree with the title - gerrymandering is absolutely wrong. How to stop it? I
don't know. But I'll tell you one thing, I'm ashamed of the Utah
legislature for blatantly gerrymandering our congressional districts. I am not a
registered republican, but I've yet to vote for a democrat, and doubt it
will ever happen. That said, I am ashamed that we have 4 republican
representatives. Our population suggests quite clearly that we should have 3
republican representatives and 1 democrat. The fact that the republican
legislature driving the bus would railroad the state by saying 75% isn't
enough, we need 100% is shameful. All their excuses and reasoning for the
bizarre district boundaries are ridiculous.
Utah democrats only manage to get 30% of the vote in Statewide races. These
cannot be gerrymandered....except by the federal government when it drew State
boundaries with the obvious intent to keep as much valuable land away from Utah
as possible.Some number of GOP cast a sympathy or protest vite in
Statewide races knowing it won't affect the outcome. So probably only 25%
of Utahsn prefer Democrats.If we gerrymandered an all urban district
to be democrat safe, the other districts would be GOP safe and much larger
geographically.On rural issues, one of our 3 rural-urban mix votes
would be cancelled by the pure urban vote.Utah has been well aerved
by our mixed urban-rural districts. One or two districts are competitive as
evidenced by Matheson holding a seat for other a decade.Geographic
mix is not partisan even if it results in an outcome urban democrats hate.Democrats are not entitled to the most radically liberal congressman
they can find. Nominating Misty Snow means they deserve to lose.Nominate a pro-life, pro-gun moderate and they will be competitive.
No one can claim that gerrymandering is fair, or within the ethical real of
reason. As a native Bay Stater (gerrymandering was invented by Massachusetts
Democrats), I saw the effects of gerrymandering to keep the state democratic.
Gerryandering should be illegal, in all of its forms. I have not the
slightest concern for any special interests who are afraid of losing their perks
when gerrymandering is n longer used to continue the cycle of power by the
ruling party.I do find it interesting though, that it finally has
become a public concern, when it is costing democratic votes. Hippocrates is
@2bits "That's great, but you also predicted the imminent and
inevitable collapse of capitalism in America (back in 2008). And you predicted
the collapse of our government several times in the past. All false. What... are
we supposed to start believing you now? After crying, "Wolf!", so many
times before?"I don't think you realize how close we came
to a complete collapse of the system beginning in 2008. It took heroic acts by
Hank Paulson, Barack Obama, and the FEDERAL RESERVE which did unprecedented
things to reflate the America economy - some of them undocumented. We in fact
came very close to losing it! I had ever reason to think the whole system was
cooked. As for the present, Donald Trump and his movement are
really different. They are nothing less than the rise of American fascism.
Constitutional government is threatened.
RE: "Gerrymandering is a brazen abuse of political power"...---I agree.What I disagree with is the assumption that it's a
Utah thing. Or a Republican thing. It's not. It's done by both
sides, in every State. And it's been illegal for a long time. So what are
you proposing we do now?Just complain about it?It's
already illegal.I know it makes for a great complaining topic at
parties and such, but what can we actually do about it?===@marxist - 10:01RE: "This next year we may well see the end of
constitutional government in the United States"...---That's
great, but you also predicted the imminent and inevitable collapse of capitalism
in America (back in 2008). And you predicted the collapse of our government
several times in the past. All false. What... are we supposed to start
believing you now? After crying, "Wolf!", so many times before?===Not defending gerrymandering at all. Just saying what
can you do about it? And what have you done about it when Democrats do it?
Have you spoken out equally when Democrats have Gerrymandered districts in other
States controlled by Democrats? It happens.
@TeaPublican "Now the Republicans ARE winning...deal with it! Just how
America IS folks. And Republicans ARE making America great again!"And what happens when Republicans lose? We're seeing an example in
Alabama. Even though his loss has been certified Roy Moore is claiming an
invalid election. He refuses to accept his loss. What happens if Democrats win
big in 2018? Trump will claim the entire elective process is rigged against
Republicans (he would have done the same if he had lost the presidential
election). This next year we may well see the end of constitutional government
in the United States, thanks to Trump and "teapublicans."
Gerrymandering is possibly this country's greatest problem because it
creates a dysfunctional government comprised of extreme partisan leaders which
leads to unbalanced bills and regulations.
It seems that when Judge Shelby is found in the news, Shelby is handing down a
decision that is totally opposite to the original nature of the issue. A
interesting question. For the Judge to tell the County that one of his
'so-called independent experts' is a bit past his position. This is
an interesting question as well.With the nature of the situation of
this decision, and the likelihood of SCOTUS' opinion this year, the only
way for San Juan County will have to push the Utah Legislature to redraw the
County boundaries to a point that San Juan County would have the voting district
they want. And there would them be the 30th Utah County and they would have
their own voting districts.This "gerrymandering" is pushed
but it has had its own way for many, many decades. It is not up to the judicial
system, it is up to each State. What a mess.
Right is right even if no one is doing it and wrong is still wrong even if
everyone is doing it. We are best served when all voices are heard and that
includes the far right and the far left. Let's talk about Utah and only
Utah since what other states do we can't control. What is happening in San
Juan is wrong and sadly it took a judge to fix it. I applaud the judge for
doing the right thing. I hope the next correction come with congressional
districts. We should have a southern Utah district, a northern Utah district
and two Wasatch front districts. Part of the problems with the national
monuments is we don't have representation from southern Utah. Three of our
four representatives live on the Wasatch front. After that let's take care
of state boundaries. One Senator per county, and divide House of
Representatives by population by county. Each county gets one and the remainder
are based on population. Very simple and fair
When I was growing up in a small town in central Utah, I believed that Democrats
were evil. And luckily, at the time, I never had to face one!Before
I left high school, my opinion had reversed completely. Not because I
didn’t see hypocrisy everywhere, I just didn’t want to be part of
the greater side of it.Utah’s Republican leaders - most of
whom claim religious beliefs, mind you - seem to have no problem with the
“brazen abuse of political power” called out by DN. If it’s
unfair, it’s also unethical.
Oh please! This IS how things work in America! "To the victor belong the
spoils"! It's common knowledge and accepted in America that the
winner of a conflict gains additional benefits, beyond the subject of the
conflict! The winner of a conflict gains additional benefits, beyond
the subject of the conflict! The winner of the political battle gets
everything that goes with victory! Just like your President Obama said to
Republicans: I won. Deal with it. Now the Republicans ARE winning...deal with
it! Just how America IS folks. And Republicans ARE making America great
Fashioning a remedy here is like reforming Obamacare; it is impossible to put
the toothpaste back in the tube.And expecting the bench to be
apolitical in nonsense.Most absurd of all is the fact that these
judgments and decrees ignore egregious maps like IL-4, the district of Luis
The DN comes out against gerrymandering.Ok.Why now?The DN has been solidly behind every brazen abusive political trick the
Republicans have used to gain/maintain control/power over Americans...For example...Citizens United...Merrick Garland...the flip/flop on
the current Republican Heart, Soul and Face in the WH (DN 10/8/16)...etc....come
to mind.Again...Why the switcheroo...now?
A disgusting abuse of power...that some people seem to be OK with. As usual it
all comes down to whos ox is being gored.
Both red and blue states are guilty of gerrymandering. It doesn’t matter
what other states do, Utah should take the lead in doing what’s right. And whether gerrymandering is done along racial or political lines
it’s an unethical practice intended to oppress a minority population. I
hope after the next census that Utah’s political leaders will redraw the
lines so SL has its own representative. The state is probably comprised of
20-40% Democrats so it’s fair that at least one district have a Democrat
representative. I don’t belong to either party.
@FlashbackYou said:"Shelby's "expert"
is most likely a liberal. Interesting to see what will happen. Political
gerrymandering is fine, racial is not."In what universe is
political gerrymandering "fine?" Please explain. I am terrified that
anyone could even suggest something like that with a straight face. This is
political gamesmanship of the most cynical and nihilistic variety.@at long last...I'm confused by your comment. You say that
nothing ought to be done about gerrymandering, as long as "legal
requirements" are met, but acknowledge that there are "no shortage"
of lawsuits regarding rigging of districts. Rigging the districts IS the
problem... You then go on to say "leave a non-problem
alone." Voter disenfranchisement is okay with you? Do you think it makes
sense that voters in Salt Lake City, the capital of our state, are completely
neutered from congressional representation? When was the last time
you looked at Utah's congressional district map? Tell me why Salt Lake City
the center of the district "pizza?" Shouldn't we be our own slice?
Please try to explain why I, a Salt Lake City voter, should be okay
with this set up.
The first "Salamander" Letter from the Boston Gazette in 1812 over
Elbridge Gerry's Map. Today the GOP calls it Operation REDMAP
(Redistricting Majority Project) which began after the 2010 Census. As
we've seen in several Elections Operation REDMAP has helped the GOP in
States where they lose the popular vote. The Constitutional intent was to
include the increased population into the voting process, not zone us into
discriminating districts. I personally am not in favor of a Party System, so
I'm even more not in favor of a dominant Party rigging our Elections in
their favor. Ezra Taft Benson, former Secretary of Agriculture, gave a speech on
25 October 1966 in UT titled, "Our Immediate Responsibility" where he
warned we must not vote for Parties, or even individuals, but for
"principles" which are in harmony with the principles of our
Constitution. It was a warning to us back then that if we didn't head the
warning he predicted destruction of this Nation, of the Constitution, and our
Freedom. He urged a diligent study of the Constitution and be able to compare
and contrast it with what our leaders were doing. Today our Constitution is
hanging as it were by a single thread.
Nobody complains about gerrymandering, kickbacks, loopholes, campaign finance
laws, lobbiests influences, etc when those things serve their own political
interests. But when the other side does it, watch the righteous indignation
Gerrymandering is inevitable. As long as the legal requirements are met
(contiguous area, equal population, et cetera) there is nothing that ought to be
done about it. If the rigging of the districts is that egregious then lawsuits
are in order, and there have been no shortage of those. The party
in power always does the best they can, within the law, to benefit their party.
Non-partisan commissions rarely are non-partisan, so I doubt that is the answer.
There are a plethora of more pressing issues. Leave a 'non-problem'
Well written article. The carving up of Salt Lake and San Juan County to further
cement political power is wrong.
Gerrymandering is a time honored tradition in this country. It keeps the
powerful so. And the disfavored weak. And it is time to end it.Some states (interesting enough, mostly Blue ones) have used commissions and
like committees to fix boundaries on legislative districts that attempt to
create competition. Since I believe that competition is one of the doctrines so
loved by the Right, why don't they promote that? Most Red states are
gerrymandered so badly as to be an embarrasssment to a nation committed to equal
rights for all and each person's vote counting. The effect of
gerrymandered Red states is to keep the Right in power despite losing overall
vote totals.So who really believes in democracy and the competition
of ideas? (Spoiler alert: It ain't the GOP.)
Shelby's "expert" is most likely a liberal. Interesting to see
what will happen. Political gerrymandering is fine, racial is not.
Yes it is, and Utah politics is horrible for this very reason.The
GOP has made the most ridiculous patchwork of mazes in order to insure that the
GOP doesn't have to compete for elections.
Utah's congressional districts are "somewhat" gerrymandered? Of
course, they are completely gerrymandered with the express purpose of
disenfranchising Democratic voters in Salt Lake County. The recent protests
against Rep Jason Chaffetz support this point. Why was Chaffetz, the 3rd
district rep from Utah County, meeting in Cottonwood Heights? Why would he
represent the Salt Lake County east bench? Answer: gerrymandering. The
legislature should fix the congressional district boundaries sooner rather than
later, and do it fairly through the proposed independent redistricting
Yes. We've run the experiment, so now we know: Gerrymandering ultimately
undermines fairness and democracy, and can also enable extremism. This practice
needs to be stopped.
You've seen the videos, I'd bet, of the congressional district art
show. Outlines of congressional districts displayed in a gallery as art, insofar
as their tortured rorschach test shapes do resemble Picasso cubism more than any
sort of geopolitical division. Governmental districting of any kind should
never be in the hands of lawmakers. Never. It should be done by independent
committee, and ideally computer algorithm. The criteria, I believe, by which
districts are portioned should include population rules (allowable over/under)
municipal continuity (don't carve part of a town off if that town is not
sufficiently populated to have more than one district) and geographic sense. In
other words, no arms or appendages to grab your favoured voters somewhere else.
Above all, they should reflect the citizens of the area, irrespective of race or
gender or income. America is diverse; let its' lawmakers reflect this. And,
those that run in those districts need then appeal to their constituency as a
whole and diverse place, instead of a homogeneous safe haven.