After the 2000 census, the boundaries of congressional districts, state senate districts, and house of representative districts were "gerrymandered" unfairly in favor of the majority party in the legislature. The result split some close-knit neighborhoods and ethnic groups, while combining others with very little shared interests.
To achieve a more equitable redistricting following the 2010 census, the Fair Boundaries Coalition wants the voters in the general election next November to establish an independent commission to advise the legislature regarding the location of voting district boundaries.
For this purpose, Fair Boundaries Petitions are being circulated all around the state. Slightly more than 95,000 signatures of registered voters must be obtained by mid April to place this issue on the November ballot.
The Utah Citizens' Counsel, consisting of 15 concerned senior citizens (Robert Archuleta, Genevieve Atwood, Aileen Clyde, Gale Dick, Irene Fisher, David Irvine, Boyer Jarvis, Chase Peterson, Grethe Peterson, Bonner Ritchie, Dee Rowland, Karl Snow, Emma Lou Thayne, Raymond Uno, and Olene Walker), strongly urge all registered voters to sign the Fair Boundaries Petition.
Twenty-one other states already have some form of independent redistricting commission. Utahans will benefit from having such a group guide our Legislature when it draws new district boundaries after the 2010 census.
(Karl Snow is a former state senator from Provo.)