(KCPW News) Nearly a month ahead of when the Utah Legislature is set to vote on a new set of political boundaries, another group met at the Capitol Tuesday to present maps it says are more in line with what Utahns want to see in redistricting. Fair Boundaries field director Glenn Wright says the non-partisan group has been working on drawing fair maps since 2010, and wants a chance for its voice to be heard.
“We did not take voting patterns or incumbents’ addresses into account in any way — that information was not in our data base — so we couldn’t use it in drawing the maps,” he says. “We strictly followed the rules that are spelled out in the initiative, keep communities intact.”
Wright says the Fair Boundaries Coalition gathered nearly 50,000 signatures in support of an independent redistricting commission. But the group still failed to get it on the ballot in 2010.
Alliance for a Better Utah Executive Director Maryann Martindale says even without the initiative on the ballot, the public can still have a voice.
“People need to remember what just happened with GRAMA, people revolted, people were upset, it was not passed the right way, the Governor had to call a special session and do it,” says Martindale. “What were saying is we’ll do that again. This is wrong, do the right thing. Do the right thing the first time, let’s not spend all of the money, let’s not spend all of the time overturning a bad law. Redistricting is a law.”
Utah legislators have held several public hearings across the state, and will meet (met) to discuss their own maps again this morning at the State Capitol. Lawmakers have also accepted citizen-proposed maps for consideration online. The special session will be held Monday, October 3rd.
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