Proposition 4: Let’s not have voting district boundaries go down the middle of neighborhoods any longer.
Boundaries for voting districts in Utah cut through neighborhoods as a result of gerrymandering. Ronald Reagan couldn’t have said it better on the issue. “Gerrymandering is a national disgrace.”
It’s through Proposition 4 that a commission would be developed and guided by Utahns, to put together new political maps upon completion of the 2020 census. The commission of seven members would be chosen by Utah’s governor and legislative leaders from any political party with legislators in office. However, though the legislature could turn away the commissioners’ plan while giving an explanation for it, according to the Deseret News, the lawmakers would be able to have the last word on the new maps.
“Typically, a single state House seat would hold about 30,000 people,” Better Boundaries Campaign Manager Catherine Kanter said. “Holladay is split up into four state House seats, two state Senate seats and two congressional seats. That doesn’t make any sense.”
The party which controls the redistricting process can dilute the vote of the other party by concentrating its voters in as few districts as possible, while spreading its own voters to as many districts as possible while maintaining a majority in those districts. This will result in the other party winning in fewer districts with larger majorities while the party doing the redistricting will win in more districts with smaller majorities.
Prop. 4 is a reality because of agreements between folks who are part of multiple parties. Kanter said “Prop. 4 is a simple solution to the conflict of interest that threads together when legislators make boundaries for the very districts they are in”, KUER reported. “Politicians should have to listen to their voters. They should have to be responsive and accountable. But in a heavily gerrymandered district, all of that starts to break down,” Kanter said.
Prop. 4 certainly needs your help. A sizeable amount of Utahns have not made up their mind, with Republican support having dropped, KPCW reported. While not the only reason, because the commission resulting from Prop. 4 would mean for more folks at the polls, the Utah League of Women Voters is in support.
“One of the driving forces behind the league is to increase democratic participation get folks to vote, get folks to be part of the process,” LWV of Utah Member Meredith Reed said. “Having an independent district draw the lines and ending gerrymandering totally aligns with the leagues purpose and values. That is why we are supporting that, but it doesn’t happen easily. We spend a lot of time researching these issues we’re a non-partisan organization. That is ardently, adamantly part of our DNA as an organization is to be non-partisan.”
“Yet, this is our situation,” Bona opines in the Deseret News. “Relatives in Castle Dale and Sandy are both represented by Rep. John Curtis, while cousins less than five miles away in Holladay have Rep. Mia Love, who also represents family in Mount Pleasant.”
According to “Fair Redistricting: A Better Deal for Rural Utah,” 61.3 percent of rural Utahns aren’t represented in the federal government by an individual from rural Utah. Love, Curtis and Rep. Chris Stewart all reside on the Wasatch Front, while Rep. Rob Bishop further away.
We have to create more balanced voting districts. Pleae help make a difference and vote for what you feel is fair in regards to Prop 4 and voting redistricting.