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Utah Redistricting Underway

Every ten years in the United States, the constitutional mandated census counts the number of people in the US and the states. It is to categorize growth and legislative districts in the states. The Census also gives each state a certain amount of congressional districts for representation in the US House of Representatives.

In Utah, we have 4 congressional districts. Between 2010 and 2020, Utah had an 18.4 percent growth rate, adding about half a million people in the state. This year Utah did not add another congressional district, however, our neighbor state Colorado did. Regardless, the new congressional lines, along with legislative districts must be redrawn.

In 2018 Utah balloters voted for an Independent Advisory Commission to help the legislature draw new congressional and state legislative districts. This Commission is only advisory; however, when they submit their final maps for review, by November 24th to the state legislature, the legislature can alter or reject the maps.

The Commission has submitted twelve maps. These maps are most likely going to change before the March 11th deadline, for new boundaries.  One of the biggest changes with the maps proposed is a single district within Salt Lake County. This district would most likely be a democratic-leaning district.

Currently, on the map, there is one competitive district with three republican districts. Many people in Utah have pointed out that Salt Lake County should have one entire district within it. However, state Republicans have pointed out a need for a more geographically balanced map, as we have now.

The Independent Commission has submitted twelve different maps to the Utah legislature for review and these include boundaries for Congress, State Senate and House, and the State Board of Education. The State legislature can reject or alter the maps submitted. Final maps will be put into place by March 2022.

Deseret News: What is redistricting and why you should care?

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