Initiative creating independent redistricting commission in the works

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  • Loren Carle Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    Wow! the intellectual backflips engaged in by some commetators who are trying to believe this is not a good idea are staggering!

    I can't get my small mind around the notion that elected officials drawing electoral maps is not a conflict of interest.

    Of course the aim is to form a balanced, transparent, and yes, non-partisan independent commission (that's what independent means).

    And, really! Downtown Salt Lake City (north of the 80 only) votes in the same district as St. George? Come on!

    Our congressional map is blatant in its deliberate silencing of the majority of voters in this state.

    elections.utah.gov/map/district-maps

    betterboundaries.org/

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2017 3:39 p.m.

    The impact of gerrymandering is clear, scientific in its accuracy, and shows a 7-12% advantage to one or the other party in heavily gerrymandered districts. In Utah, it favors the GOP. In Oregon, it favors the Dems.

    There are 14 states with non-partisan commissions and though perhaps not guaranteed to be fair, they are more likely to keep things equitable. There is no reason Utah can't be one of those. These 14 states are not GOP or Dem dominated states either! The only thing that makes this partisan is that the GOP would no longer benefit from heavily gerrymandered districts any longer. If the Dems gain a foothold in Utah somewhere down the line, then they would not benefit, etc...

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    July 4, 2017 7:00 a.m.

    Democrats hiding behind an Independent panel concept is still a Democrats initiative. And they are serious about this bipartisan appearance? Oh boy! Here we go again!

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    July 3, 2017 3:04 p.m.

    Quoting our beloved ex-President Barack Hussein Obama, "We won and you lost".

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    July 3, 2017 10:48 a.m.

    Liberals have failed to elect someone at the ballot box, then failed in the courts to change the boundaries of Utah Congressional districts. Now liberals are trying an initiative to gerrymander a Democrat Congressional Seat away from the Republicans By using unelected, unaccountable liberals in a back door drawing room. No thanks.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    July 3, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    Independent commission? Meaning what? That half the commission members are from each party. Thus giving the minority party an oversized say in state politics? No!

    The system we have isn't perfect by any means but it's fair to the strength of the electorate in the state. If the dems want to win seats they have to pull back from the extreme left candidates. I mean take a look at the last Senate candidate. Who did the Dems put up to challenge Lee? A grocery store clerk whose only qualification was that it is a transgender person.

    Dump the extreme leftwing politics dems, move towards the center rather than away from it and you might actually win an election. But until then the Elected Legislature should continue to do the redistricting. The people's representatives, not some appointed commission designed to give more power to the minority than they really should have.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 3, 2017 10:12 a.m.

    Computers are now used to parse out districts based on political party affiliations of people registered to vote in those districts.

    Computers COULD and SHOULD be used to simply base districts based on POPULATION numbers alone without any consideration of party affiliation. All districts should simply have approximately equal populations and nothing more or less.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 3, 2017 10:08 a.m.

    This would be one of the best things that could possibly happen in Utah.

    But it won't.

    The GOP might not be able to control voters then.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 3, 2017 9:01 a.m.

    Republicans hold all of Utah's six seats in Congress, as well as supermajorities in both the state House and Senate, suggesting the state is one of the nation's more prominent examples of gerrymandering.

    Or, indicating Utah voters overwhelmingly reject dems.

    According to ballotpedia, of the 43 states with more than 1 congressional district, the state legislature determines the boundaries in 37. The people elected the legislatures, not the other way around as the article suggests.

    if the dems want more power, they should nominate more palatable candidates and work more to appeal to Utah voters. It is not the fault of Utah voters that the dems don't reflect Utah values or interests.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 3, 2017 8:47 a.m.

    This idea is a start, but what's in the best interest of Utah voters, and our democracy, is to develop software to create the boundaries, based on certain criteria. Try not to carve up municipalities, counties, etc. Make them as compact and contiguous as possible. Avoid the idea of income, gender, race, having anything to do with the process.
    In short, turn it back into a district of people on certain defined geography, instead of geography defined by like minded people living upon it. Make candidates work for a win with at least some diversity present.

  • humbug Syracuse/Davis, UT
    July 3, 2017 8:39 a.m.

    I am strongly in favor of this initiative. I hope they can gather the needed signatures and get it on the ballot. This would be good.

  • tsobserver Mapleton, UT
    July 3, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    This is a battle as old as the republic. The losing party complains about how districts are drawn up. The winning party makes the "democracy" argument. The losing party makes the "fairness" argument. The winning party never wants to share power with the losing party. This problem exists in nearly every state. There are heaps of case law governing it but that never stops new law suits from putting food on the tables of the plethora of lawyers who have small mouths to feed. Donors keep donating. Parties keep fighting. In the end, it's never really about what is good or right. It's simply about winning. Losers want to lose less, but they'll call they're schemes by a variety of more palatable names like "independent commission" and winners want to keep winning and they'll call their actions "democracy in action" while the people sit by and laugh or weep or more likely just smirk, because they know this fight will continue. It's part of our national DNA.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 3, 2017 7:33 a.m.

    Agreed.

    Have you even seen those District maps?
    It's worse than Chicago style politics.

    Salt Lake county is cut up and parsed into 4 districts,
    with some parts of Salt Lake County being watered down with Utah counties from Idaho to Arizona.

    Sorry Republicans,
    but truly, in all fairness,
    at lease one heavily blue district of the majority being Salt Lake County by all common sense and reason 'should' be a Democrat.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 3, 2017 6:25 a.m.

    "drawing legislative and congressional boundaries in the hands of an independent commission."

    You mean, not having partisan political people carve up voting districts? What a novel ideal.

    I contend that all voting districts be drawn so that the shape of the district has an actual geometric name. If that means that one party will most likely get zero representatives, so be it.

    Completely save political districts are why we have a bunch of radicals in office. They have no fear about not getting re-elected.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    July 2, 2017 9:49 p.m.

    There is no such thing as an independent or non partisan redistricting commission. There are simply those bodies honest about their biases and those groups who deny or otherwise hide their affiliations.

    Utah votes overwhelming GOP since the Democrats took that hard left turn in the early 70s. The elected legislature accurately reflects the views of most Utahns no matter how much a few, very vocal inner city liberals try to claim otherwise.

    Utah is in the minority of States not to have any lawsuits filed the last two times we have redrawn legislative and congressional district boundaries.

    What some want is a democrat safe congressional seat carved out of urban SLC. This makes for a geographically tiny district with zero concern for rural interests and is a vote to cancel out one of our other votes that will include rural interests,

    That isn't in the best interest of Utah voters and the Democrats are not entitled to it.

    Call this initiative what it really is: Let the minority party and other liberals draw out boundaries rather than the elected majority.