When boundaries are drawn for legislative and congressional seats, controversy is not far behind.  Do you have ideas about how to make the process more fair?  Please share your suggestions using the comment feature.


7 Comments so far

  1. Danny Harris on March 5, 2009 6:44 am

    To me, this is the biggest issue with voter turnout in Utah. The legislative districts, both state and federal, need to be redrawn and based solely on population. Age, race, religion, political affiliation or any other demographic should NOT be taken into account when drawing the lines. This will put each district in a position where the legislator will actually have to be responsible to their constituent because re-election won’t be assured.

  2. Krista Dunn on March 5, 2009 12:06 pm

    I truly believe that more people would vote if they thought their vote meant anything. I realize that a good portion of the reasoning is that we no longer have a two-party system in Utah with such a high percentage of republicans. However, if that isn’t bad enough, the majority party then gerrymanders the districts to insure that even fewer democrats will be elected. I have voted republican most of my life, but the party has gone so far right that I can’t any longer support them. They are now far out of the mainstream.

    If the districts were set up by a non-partisan committee, agreeing to not cross county lines (except in small counties where they are only combined with counties where they share contiguous boundaries, and that communities that are completely unlike in their political voting are not crammed together, we could have a good system in place.

  3. Gaylan Stewart on March 5, 2009 5:06 pm

    In politics there will always be controversy. The present method of re-districting has been in place since Utah became a state, a hundred and eight years ago. It has worked well for us so far. The problem now seems to be that one party controls the legislature, this has not always been the case and these things change. The complaints come from those out of political power and this will always be the case.

    I don’t like the way Supreme Court Judges are appointed and kept for life, but since President Obama will be choosing the next two or three I am not crying and trying to change the Constitution or the method of selection. In politics things change.

  4. on March 29, 2009 7:03 pm

    The only thing I agree with having this commission is the issue that we have gotten away from drawing the lines based solely on geography and population. If we craft “safe” districts for either party, we play to the extremists. Districts need to be drawn as whole and succinct as possible.

  5. David Merrell on March 30, 2009 9:17 am

    I think an commission not subject to outside interference would handle the process much better. Make them autonomous to avoid legislative, executive or even the possibility of judicial gerrymandering. I personally feel jilted that I vote in a district that is not relative in location at all. I am two blocks from the district line. The majority of my district is rural, but I’m in a distinctively metropolitan area. This state’s legislature colludes to keep themselves in power, rather than winning on the merits of their governance.

  6. Lola Barrett on March 30, 2009 10:04 am

    Districts should be set up strictly according to population after each census. The districts should stay the same until the next census.
    The districts lines should not be set up by any elected official or party but rather by 3-5 people from each county. These people could be appointed by the mayors or the city councils for a one time term of one year.
    The re-districting must be completed within one year, no extentions.
    The districts should not overlap counties but all be contained within the said county and divided by the population in the said county evenly as nearly as possible.
    The current systems allows too much power to the politicans, creates “safe” districts for those in office who have the power to re-district and is patently wrong and unfair to voters.

  7. Nikki on March 31, 2009 12:33 pm

    We need an independent commission. It is a conflict of interest for legislators to draw the boundaries of their district.