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OPINION: Prop 4 would eradicate gerrymandering

JayMac: I’m voting “yes” for Proposition 4. It’s a bipartisan effort to reduce the gerrymandering in Utah that’s rampant. It’ll create an independent voting commission that’ll redraw voting districts.

Current state-drawn voting districts were drawn by Utah State Legislators. Yes, Legislators. They’re creating their own gerrymandered voting districts that benefit themselves the most.  Think about it: if your representatives are choosing the district lines, then that’s a huge issue.

Ultimately, are constituents choosing their senators or are senators choosing their constituents?

Senate Majority Leader Ralf Okerlund was the committee chair who created the voting boundaries in 2008. He claimed in an interview with my producer that everyone is guilty of gerrymandering, and that it’s impossible to create a fair and balanced district that isn’t gerrymandered.

If that’s the case, then isn’t it a fantastic idea to have an independent committee that decides voting districts?

The issue that I do have with Prop 4 is I don’t think it goes far enough to give more power over to parties that have nearly no say in Utah. I hope Prop 4 will increase voter turnout, which is seriously lagging behind. Utah is ranked 39th in the nation for voter participation.

Utah Proposition 4, Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative (2018), according to Ballotpedia, would work like this:

“A ‘yes’ vote supports this measure to create a seven-member independent redistricting commission to draft maps for congressional and state legislative districts. A ‘no’ vote opposes this measure to create a seven-member independent redistricting commission, thereby leaving the Utah State Legislature responsible for congressional and state legislative district maps.”

Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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