Yet another voter initiative may be headed for the Utah ballot next year. While petition drives already are underway to ask voters to raise taxes for schools or allow medical marijuana use, another now is forming to create an independent redistricting commission. It would handle redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries after the 2020 Census — in the wake of allegations that gerrymandering by the Legislature last time gave Utah Republicans unfair advantages. The new drive is called the “Better Boundaries” initiative. A new political issues committee, Utahns for Responsive Government, has formed to push it and it expects to file papers within a few weeks to start collecting the required 113,143 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Its co-chairmen are former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a Democrat, and Republican Jeff Wright, a former candidate for Congress and national finance director for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign in 2012.
“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,” they said in a joint written statement.