SALT LAKE CITY — How do you think political boundaries should be redrawn?
Utah residents can weigh in on the redistricting process during 19 public hearings announced Monday that will be held across the state. The meetings will be open for both in-person and virtual attendance.
"Public involvement is essential to the redistricting process and having public hearings across the state provides opportunities to answer questions Utahns may have," said Sen. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton and co-chairman of the Legislative Redistricting Committee, in a statement. "In the Legislature, we are committed to a fair, balanced and transparent process. I encourage Utahns to join us and participate in this process."
The meetings will begin in mid-August and conclude in November. Committee leaders have promised to complete the redistricting process before Thanksgiving, which they say will allow county clerks enough time to prepare for next year's general election.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution requires state legislatures to redraw new district boundaries based on the most recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data determines the ideal size of Utah's congressional, Senate, House of Representatives and State Board of Education districts.
Utahns can also draw and submit their own map suggestions using a tool that will become available on the Legislative Redistricting Committee website in the fall after U.S. Census data hits the state.
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, co-chairman of the committee, said the public's input will help guide lawmakers' decisions.
Ray and Sandall said last week they aren't bound by the suggestions of the newly created Independent Redistricting Commission, which is seeking to create a more open process and reduce gerrymandering.
In 2018, voters narrowly approved a voter initiative to promote fairer drawing of legislative and congressional district boundaries. The 2020 Legislature passed a bill that set up the makeup of the independent commission tasked with coming up with redistricting recommendations based on the 2020 census. None of its seven members hold political office.
The public hearings are as follow:
- Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City
- Thursday, Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City
- Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. in Ogden
- Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. in Logan
- Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. in Grantsville
- Monday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. in Orem
- Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in Rose Park
- Friday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. in Cedar City
- Saturday, Sept. 25 at 10 a.m. in St. George
- Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. in Richfield
- Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. in Moab
- Thursday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. in Price
- Friday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. in Vernal
- Friday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in Park City
- Wednesday, Oct.13 at 6 p.m. in Clearfield
- Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at the state Capitol
- Monday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. at the state Capitol
- Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. at the state Capitol
- Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. at the state Capitol
The locations where the public hearings will be held in each city, other than those at the state Capitol, have not yet been announced. For updates, visit le.utah.gov/calendar.html.