UTAH CITIZENS’ COUNSEL
The following Utah Citizens’ Counsel’s redistricting proposals/maps have two primary objectives:
1) to show the value of an independent, nonpartisan citizen redistricting effort by presenting federal congressional and state Senate and House redistricting options that satisfy all legal requirements while being free of self-serving, partisan purposes
2) to encourage citizens, the media, and the Legislature itself to consider UCC maps as the Legislature refines its own redistricting plans. We are presenting 4 congressional options and 2 State Senate options.
In Utah, our state constitution specifies that redistricting is solely the responsibility of the Legislature. Nevertheless, we strongly believe that a citizen advisory committee can help the Legislature restore public confidence in the fairness and integrity of the redistricting process. Because Utah has one of the lowest records in the nation for voter participation (from 37% in 2002 down to 33% in 2010 — the nation’s fifth lowest turnout), restoring to “the people” a meaningful sense that “my vote really means something” would go a long way in boosting voter participation.
UCC redistricting maps have been drawn without knowledge or consideration of the location of incumbents. We have followed the six governing principles that the Legislature’s Redistricting Committee adopted on May 4, 2011. We believe that preservation of community interest and geographic integrity are important, although we recognize that becomes more difficult as districts become smaller. Our options are meant for public consideration. Although not perfect, we believe our options can be fairly and rationally defended. They offer the Legislature one very significant benefit: They were not drafted by legislators (UCC does not have a vested interest and therefore a conflict of interest in the outcome). We believe there is enormous political benefit to the Legislature as an institution – and therefore to the people of Utah — to squeeze every possible perception of partisanship out of the redistricting process.
We are open to continuing improvement of our options, and UCC may post an additional state legislative option or two on the legislative website and the UCC website, as time permits.
The UCC has developed districts maps according to our Guiding Principles.