Friday, January 21, 2022


Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.


President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.


Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Two Panels to Produce Maps for Utah Redistricting Process


Friday, August 20, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY -- Now that the Census figures are out, the once-a-decade redistricting process begins in earnest in Utah.

It will be different this time, with a Utah legislative committee and the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission each drawing a set of maps defining political districts across the state.

Census data show Utah's 18% population gain made it the fastest-growing state in the last decade, and its population makeup shifted moderately toward Blacks, Latinos and other ethnic groups.

Gordon Haight, executive director of the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission, said his panel is designed to give the public a voice in the process.

"The Commission has taken the responsibility of making sure that these are the people's maps," Haight stated. "Our biggest activity is going out and talking to the public. We've been meeting with mayors, we've been meeting with the public, we've been going to the farmers' market, every kind of activity we can in order to get public input."

The commission was created in 2018 by ballot proposition to replace the Legislature's role in the process. However, members of the Legislature used a clause in the state Constitution to replace the results with a compromise to allow both groups to draw maps, and to give the Legislature the final say.

Republicans hold a 15-to-5 majority on the legislative committee, while members of the independent panel were chosen by a bipartisan group of state leaders. Haight said while his panel will retain experts to draw their final maps, they'll post software online so citizens or groups can draw and submit their own suggestion for districts.

"We have a mapping tool that allows people to go online and actually draw maps for the entire state," Haight explained. "Sometimes it can be a little intimidating, so we also have a software program that just allows you to draw your communities."

The Legislative Redistricting Committee plans hearings across the state starting in September to take public comments. Haight added the independent commission has also scheduled public meetings to take comments over the next four weeks.

"We believe that we'll have our first set of maps done by the end of next week, so we can start taking them around to our public hearings, starting on [September] the 3rd," Haight outlined.

The redistricting process, which normally takes several months, was compressed down to a few weeks due to COVID pandemic delays. The maps must be completed by December to be used in the 2022 midterm elections.

get more stories like this via email
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam Project would use electric barriers, bubble screens and noisemakers, all to help prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes. (Rock Island District)


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

The organizations that are part of the National League of Cities grant say they hope to engage with 200 to 300 young people in Bridgeport during the 18-month initiative. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Bridgeport is one of six U.S. cities selected for an 18-month project kicking off this month, to create more education and career opportunities for …

Social Issues

By Frank Hopper for Yes! Media.Broadcast version by Eric Tegethoff for Washington News Service reporting for the YES! Media/Public News Service …

Social Issues

During Wednesday's State of the State address, Gov. Mike Parson discussed his priorities for Missouri in the next year, including the supplemental …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021