SALT LAKE CITY — How Utah lawmakers draw the boundaries for Legislature and Congress could be the subject of an upcoming ballot initiative and a possible lawsuit.
A group spearheaded by former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a Democrat, and former liquor control commissioner Jeff Wright, a Republican, is working on a ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission. It would create a bipartisan commission to draw legislative and congressional boundaries to present to the Utah State Legislature, which has the authority to set the districts.
“As Utahns continue looking for ways to improve government in our state and in our Country, voters across the political spectrum agree that the people should choose their politicians, and not the other way around,” Becker and Wright said in a joint statement issued through the Better Boundaries Campaign.
“Our communities will be best served when legislative and congressional districts are drawn by a neutral commission rather than by people who will campaign in those districts. Republicans and Democrats who support better boundaries have come together to pursue that goal, and we are working diligently to design a process that will meet the needs of Utah voters.”
The initiative, which could be filed soon in an effort to make the 2018 ballot, takes aim at criticisms leveled against the legislature after the last census. Democrat-heavy Salt Lake County was split up amongst Utah’s four congressional districts, and lawmakers faced claims that legislative boundaries tilted in favor of GOP candidates.
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Written by BEN WINSLOW, Fox13Now.com
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