(KCPW News) On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Council unanimously approved the creation of an independent redistricting commission, which will re-draw the county's political boundaries after the 2010 census. Democratic Council Chairman Joe Hatch suspects the Republicans got on board with the proposal this time around partly because now, they're in the minority.
"I think they recognize it's in their advantage as being part of the minority to go along with this. They don't want us to do to them what they've done to us, so to speak," he said. "And further, we did work with them, they had some objects, and we accepted some of their suggestions, not all of them, but some of them we accepted."
The commission will have seven voting members. No more than three can be from the same party, meaning there will likely be three Republicans, three Democrats, and one independent. Members cannot be elected officials or party office holders.
The county will soon take applications for the commission, which will have to be approved by the council.
"I'm actually hoping that we get some political science academics, I'm hoping we get people who were involved in the political process, like a Norm Bangerter or Ted Wilson, people who have been away from elected officials for quite awhile, and away from party politics, but have a general understanding of elections and what elections are about," said Hatch.
Hatch also hopes that every day citizens and members of non-partisan voter groups apply for the commission.