Utah residents might have the chance to vote to form an independent redistricting commission that would redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries after the 2020 Census. A group called Utahns for Responsive Government is working to collect the more than 100,000 signatures required to put the initiative on the state’s 2018 ballot. “I strongly believe that the redistricting process (the determination of political boundaries), badly needs to be improved, and that politicians should not be choosing their voters,” said Ralph Becker, a former Salt Lake City mayor who is a member of the group.
The new drive is called the “Better Boundaries” initiative. It aims at taking power away from politicians and giving it to a neutral commission, citing gerrymandering as the reason Republicans hold all of Utah’s six seats in Congress.
Gerrymandering refers to drawing districts for elected offices in a way that ensures one political party has the advantage in as many races as possible. Utah lawmakers currently have control over setting boundaries for legislative and congressional districts, a process that takes place every 10 years after the national census is complete.