San Juan County welcomes redrawing of election districts

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Commissioners in a southeastern Utah county are welcoming a federal judge's order that an independent expert redraw the county's commission and school board election districts because they're unconstitutional.

San Juan County's commissioners said in a statement Friday that they asked for an independent expert to oversee the redrawing of the boundaries two years ago. They say it will allow all county residents to have an equal say.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ordered San Juan County to redraw the election maps last year after finding they were unconstitutional. He ruled on Friday that the new maps are still unconstitutional and primarily drawn based on race, violating the rights of American Indians who make up roughly half the county's population.

The Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit against the county five years ago challenging the districts.

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