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SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

Over the next three months, we will be working with Voters Not Politicians in Michigan and other partners to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP
Utah

Process

Beginning in 2021, Utah's state legislative and congressional districts will be drawn by a seven-member independent advisory redistricting commission. One member will be appointed by the governor, one by each of the four legislative leaders, one chosen jointly by the leadership of the majority Senate party, and one chosen jointly by the leadership of the minority Senate party. These seven members must approve between one and three plans by at least five votes. 120 days after census data has been received, these maps must be submitted to the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. If the Chief Justice determines that the maps meet constitutional requirements, they shall submit those plans to the state legislature. Once approved by the Chief Justice, the Commission will submit its plans as proposals to the state legislature, which can either approve, amend, or reject them. A plan must be finalized within 30 days of the last public hearing on that plan. If a commission plan is rejected, the commission must review the legislature's plan and produce a report about that rejection. This report must also describe whether the legislature's plan adheres to Utah's requirements.

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Utah law requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact, contiguous, preserve political subdivisions, and preserve communities of interest. Intentionally favoring or disfavoring an incumbent, party, or candidate for office is prohibited.

The new commission also brings with it new public input requirements. In 2021, the commission must hold at least seven public hearings, one per region: Bear River, Southwest, Mountain, Central, Southeast, Uintah Basin, and Wasatch Front. The Commission must also hold at least two public hearings in a first or second class county, but these cannot occur in the same county. In addition to these public hearings, the Commission must create a website to disseminate information (including proposed plans), to allow live-stream and archived meetings, and to allow public comment and map submissions.

Issues

In the 2020 legislative session, the Utah Legislature approved changes to the 2018 ballot initiative that created the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission. The bill, SB200, reflects a compromise between Better Boundaries Utah and the legislature in order to prevent an outright repeal of the initiative. It is likely to be signed by the Governor.

  • As under the initiative, the commission will still present its maps to the Legislature, but SB200 removes the requirement that the Legislature vote on the advisory commission's proposed maps. Therefore, the Legislature will no longer need to prepare a report explaining its rejection of the commission's maps.

  • The bill would also change the criteria that the 2018 initiative had created. Instead of requiring that the commission and Legislature abide by certain defined criteria, SB200 allows the commission to determine its own guidelines with regards to both criteria and the use of certain types of data. The Legislature would no longer be required to follow these criteria.

  • The Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court would no longer be involved as the fallback mechanism for the redistricting process. Additionally, SB200 would get rid of citizens' private right of action to sue if the Legislature approves maps different than the commission.

In 2020, the entire Utah House and half of the Utah Senate will be up for re-election.

Actions

Stop legislators from reversing recent redistricting reforms.

  • Support legislative candidates in 2020 that will protect the 2018 initiative.

  • Write to your local news organization in support of the independent commission. Make noise!

In 2021, the success of this commission will depend on public input. Stand up for your community of interest at public hearings.

  • Obtain Utah redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.

  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

  • Submit maps to the Commission as a public comment.

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by hybrid commission system
State Boundaries: Drawn by hybrid commission system
Legislative Control: Republican
Governor's Political Party: Republican
Last Updated: Mar 13 2020