Proposition 4: Improving the redistricting process

Lindsay Cook, Arts and Entertainment Editor

In early 2017, a nonprofit organization called Better Boundaries started lobbying for an adjustment to Utah’s current laws on redistricting, calling for a nonpartisan appointed seven-member committee which would submit redistricting plans to the Utah State Legislature. This has been proposed as a 4th proposition in the upcoming general election in November.

Opponents believe that the proposition is unconstitutional, especially because the committee members are appointed and not voted in. Concern arises over the purpose of the out-of-state funding for the use of lobbying for the proposition. Sen. Ralph Okerlund says that the creators of the bill “…are seeking to unconstitutionally pack what is now a competitive congressional district with Democrat votes to create a single, safe and solidly Democratic congressional district for themselves.”  

Proponents of the bill point to the fact that two of the four founders of Better Boundaries are Republican as a sign of bipartisanship. Through the proposed seven-member committee, (in which appointees are appointed equally by lead politicians in both the Republican and Democratic party,) proponents of Prop 4 intend to prevent the erasure of minority voices in the voting process. Blake Moore, one of the co-founders, says “18 other states have adopted some form of an independent redistricting commission.”