gerrymandering | KUER 90.1

gerrymandering

Photo of a man in a suit standing at a wooden podium, with a group of people standing behind him
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Under a new compromise reached by a bipartisan group of Utah lawmakers and the group behind a new anti-gerrymandering law, an independent redistricting commission is required to adopt its own rules to ban partisan gerrymandering.

Photo of two golf carts
Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/29613480388">Flickr</a> / View <a href="https://foto.wuestenigel.com/park-golf-carts/?utm_source=29613480388&utm_campaign=FlickrDescription&utm_medium=link">original photo</a> and <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons license</a>.

We’re more than halfway through the Utah legislative session, and lots of bills have been making big headlines in the state. But with just 45 days, there are probably more than a few that you may have missed. KUER’s Caroline Ballard went to the state Capitol pressroom to catch up with political reporter Sonja Hutson.

Photo of three women and a man holding white signs with black lettering, reading “ “Prop 2,” “Prop 3,” “Tax Reform,” “Prop 4” and “We will remember to vote in November.”
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Updated 2:53 p.m. MT, 2/21/20

Voters narrowly approved Proposition 4, also known as Better Boundaries, in 2018. It would create an independent commission to draw congressional and legislative district lines, which would then have to be approved by the legislature. 

US Supreme Court building.
iStock.com / Phillip Nelson

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Thursday that states and federal lawmakers, not courts, are responsible for ending political gerrymandering.

Our region has attracted the attention of the Terminator.

“I’m right now on a campaign to terminate gerrymandering,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video from Budapest, where he’s shooting his latest film.  

Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts in four states, including two in the Mountain West, to end the political practice.

We hear about gerrymandering a lot these days, but not necessarily an explanation for what it is. It’s complicated, but not impossible to explain.

A bipartisan group of Colorado lawmakers kicked off an anti-gerrymandering campaign this month. They want to take redistricting decisions out of the hands of state legislators and put it into the hands of twelve voters.

Julia Ritchey, KUER

Gov. Gary Herbert says he thinks a new ballot initiative to reform Utah’s redistricting process is worth considering, but isn’t ready to throw his support behind it.

Julia Ritchey, KUER


A new group is launching a ballot initiative to create an independent commission aimed at reforming the way Utah draws its electoral boundaries.