Utah redistricting: Lawmakers select their own maps over independent ones

Nov 8, 2021, 11:26 PM | Updated: Nov 9, 2021, 5:25 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Legislative Redistricting Committee has voted in favor of their own maps over those created by the Independent Redistricting Commission.

Lawmakers and a large crowd of people debated the options in a meeting on Capitol Hill Monday, which lasted just over five hours.

Dozens spoke against the congressional map the committee released late Friday night, while a few spoke in favor.

“The blatant tearing apart of Salt Lake County into four congressional districts and the disenfranchisement of minority voters does not demonstrate impartial decision making,” a public commenter said. “You have created a firestorm of opposition by treating the voters of Utah with disrespect.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that you guys didn’t come out and listen. I just don’t know that you listened well. So, that’s something that we have to consider,” another commenter said during the meeting. “I’m hopeful you’ll be listening to us today.”

“We want to know who drew the maps, what outside groups were consulted and what was the rationale for the decision. Additionally, there has not been adequate time for the public to both view these maps and comment on the committee’s decisions,” said a third public commenter.

“And this map represents rural as well as urban, and we’re thankful for the things that you guys have put forward and all the work you’ve done,” said another.

The passionate and sometimes boisterous audience filled up the main committee room and two overflow rooms, and hundreds also watched online.

One of the main complaints was that rural Utah is overrepresented in the congressional map and that urban areas are being split up, especially Salt Lake County.

They also accused lawmakers on the committee of gerrymandering.

Earlier in the afternoon, various groups sent an open letter to the Legislature and Gov. Spencer Cox, urging them to approve the maps from the independent commission.

“I was born and raised in Utah. I’m a wife, a mother, a Latina, and a life-long conservative. The Independent Redistricting Commission’s process has been wholly transparent and we call on the state legislature to adopt their maps,” said Melarie Wheat with the group Mormon Women for Ethical Government.

When the committee chairs released their maps on Friday, they said they believe both urban and rural interests should be represented by the entire federal delegation.

They said they created their maps after listening to Utahns and touring the state.

At the end of the night, the committee voted on the four maps they wanted in the first place.

Utah lawmakers will continue to discuss redistricting during a special legislative session Tuesday.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

People register for Qualtrics X4: The Experience Management Summit at the Salt Palace Convention Ce...


Qualtrics announces cuts to reduce workforce by around 15%

Utah-based tech company Qualtrics announced on Wednesday it is cutting around 780 jobs from its workforce as it restructures. 

4 hours ago

(KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

SLC police searching for suspects who escaped motel room after hourslong SWAT standoff

Police say no arrests were made following an eight-hour search and standoff after two suspects cut a hole in a motel room ceiling and escaped the building.

4 hours ago

Garfield says he believes the automaker should replace the failed EV battery under its warranty. Th...

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt helps Lehi man to get help from electric carmaker’s warranty after battery fails

Federal law says carmakers must warranty EV batteries for at least eight years or a hundred thousand miles. Whichever comes first.

11 hours ago

Boy sits in a tree...

Debbie Worthen

A year later, heartbroken parents say pedestrian deaths must stop

One Utah couple knows firsthand the impact of distracted driving.

11 hours ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

13 hours ago

Flames shoot up at a condo with cars parked outside...

Ashley Moser

25 Centerville residents displaced after fire rips through apartment complex

There was a devastating apartment fire ripped through the Cedar Springs Condominiums in Centerville early Monday morning, displacing 25 residents.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Utah redistricting: Lawmakers select their own maps over independent ones