THE CURRENT SYSTEM LETS POLITICIANS PICK THEIR VOTERS
Some people call it Gerrymandering, and here’s how it works:
• Whoever controls the majority of the Utah Legislature gets to draw the boundaries of voting districts. Politicians are able to draw their own districts, which enables them to choose where all of us pick our congressional representatives and our Utah state senators and representatives. There are only two rules: they can’t split up communities by race or religion, and the districts have to have around the same population.
• They draw the voting boundaries in secret - with no input from the voters - or from other parties - or even other wings of their own party.
• They draw the voting district boundaries to benefit themselves to empower the voters they want and disempower those who might vote against them.
• They use massive computer systems to identify the voters they want based on all kinds of data such as age, race, religion, and education as well as personal shopping purchases and magazine subscriptions.
• They weaken the unified voices of voters by breaking their cities, counties and other communities into multiple state house and senate and congressional districts.
• They draw districts into sprawling and confusing shapes that make it hard for voters to find the offices of their representatives
or even figure out who their lawmakers are.
The Utah Independent Redistricting and Standards Act would empower all voters by helping make sure that lawmakers are accountable to their constituents.
The Independent Redistricting and Standards Act, when it passes on November 6, will create sensible rules by which the boundaries of major voting districts of Utah will have to be drawn. So the new maps recommended to the Legislature after the next Census …
• Will be drawn by a commission of seven non-partisan citizens in an independent, honest, transparent, and impartial manner
• Can be commented on by the public who could attend the commission meetings and view the meetings, maps and other data online
• Cannot be drawn to unduly favor or disfavor any particular person or political party, so could also not use computer data to unduly favor or disfavor any person or party.
• Will have to be drawn, as much as possible, to conform to the boundaries of existing cities and counties, preserve traditional neighborhoods and local communities, and maximize boundary agreement among different types of districts
• Will have to drawn, to be geographically compact, to allow for ease of transportation throughout the district and to follow natural and geographic boundaries and barriers.
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WORKS FOR INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING,
BECAUSE WE PROMOTE REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT:
An open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.
Therefore we support The Utah Independent Redistricting and Standards Act, which would enact most of the features of impartial redistricting for which we advocate, including:
Find your own voting districts: https://elections.utah.gov/map/district-maps
See LWVUS positions on redistricting: http://forum.lwv.org/sites/default/files/impact_on_issues_2016-2018_representative_government.pdf
A local Desert News Editorial: http://forum.lwv.org/sites/default/files/impact_on_issues_2016-2018_representative_government.pdf
A Robert Gehrke Op-Ed: http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=5473216&itype=CMSID