This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The highfalutin talk last year by Republican legislators about drawing political boundaries to reflect communities of interest and achieve balance between rural and urban was just smoke. It turns out that the only thing they wanted was districts with mostly Republican voters for themselves and to dump the Democrats on someone else ("GOP self-interest may have helped Matheson," Tribune, Nov. 19).
That's to be expected of politicians. That's why they shouldn't draw the boundaries.
Utah needs a nonpartisan board to draw the boundaries. That's now done in enough states to have a good model.
A politician's goal of having a politically safe district serves him well, but not the public. We end up with intransigent representatives who add to gridlock.
If districts were drawn without regard to how voters vote, there would be less skewing of boundaries based on that criterion, which means more competitive districts, which means elected officials would actually have to pay attention to what voters in both parties want, which means they would be more moderate. All good things.
Voters should pick their representatives, not vice versa. That's just good government.
Now is the time to make the change for the 2020 census.
Salt Lake City