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Political Redistricting

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Time flies! We’re half-way through the first decade of the new century, which means the constitutionally mandated national decennial census is just five years away, which means the painful process of political redistricting will soon be upon us. And that means gerrymandering! Unless, of course, a degree of objective, non-partisan independence can be brought to the process!

In KSL’s view, the best way to accomplish fairness in realigning political boundaries is through the creation of some sort of independent redistricting commission. Don’t expect entrenched lawmakers to push the idea, though. They won’t monkey with a system that favors incumbents and protects their personal partisan interests.

Last legislative session we saw how quickly they dismissed a reasonable redistricting measure. HJR 14 was deep-sixed in the rules committee almost as quickly as it was introduced. Realistically, a citizen’s initiative may be the only way to bring about change. Arizona did it that way in 2000. California citizens, pushed by their governor, are considering doing it this year. In Iowa, they did it back in 1980 and their Legislative Service Bureau has proven for decades that independent redistricting works. So, let’s not wait until the next census in 2010 to improve the process for drawing political boundaries in Utah. Move to make changes now! Time, after all, flies!

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