‘Trib Talk’: Some Utahns push plan they say could end gerrymandering — but lawmakers say the effort is about helping Democrats

(Illustration by Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Salt Lake County is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by three different Congress members, none of whom live in Salt Lake County.

Utah’s voting maps, which divide the state’s most populous county — and home to its capital city — into three congressional districts, boosting the voice of rural and suburban conservatives over that of the urban, and predominately liberal voters in Salt Lake City and the east bench.

To critics, Utah’s maps are a clear-cut example of gerrymandering, making a red state redder by drawing voters who favor Democrats into inescapable corners. But to others, the maps are a fair distribution of the state’s growing population, and allegations of gerrymandering are actually a veiled reaction to the failure of Democrats to win at the polls.

On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood discusses gerrymandering and a Utah ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission with Jeff Wright, co-chairman of Better Boundaries, and Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross.

“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.

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