Legislative Redistricting website overwhelmed leaving public unable to comment online on maps

Citygate, the organization hosting the redistricting mapping website, said the website was not shut down and it was actively trying to resolve the issue.

A screenshot of the Utah Legislative Redistricting Committee website that came to a standstill on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.

Utahns rushing to submit their comments about the Legislative Redistricting Committee’s proposed electoral boundaries have caused the website to come to a standstill, according to officials.

Around noon on Monday, just three hours before lawmakers began the first and only in-person public hearing about their proposed electoral maps, the MyDistricting: Utah Legislative Redistricting Committee mapping website was unable to take “Like,” “Dislike” and “Opinion” comments submitted by the public.

Utah Senate Deputy Chief of Staff Aundrea Peterson told The Salt Lake Tribune that the legislative staff was aware of the issue and that they had been in contact Citygate, the group hosting the mapping site, “to resolve the issue of the redistricting website running slower than it should and to address any issues.”

Citygate said in its own statement that it was actively working to resolve the issue.

“The site has not been shut down, but is experiencing a significant volume of users,” said Citygate chief executive Fred Hejazi. “Some users may be experiencing performance issues. Citygate staff will continue to work on this until the problem is resolved.”

A test comment submitted by The Salt Lake Tribune shortly before the 3 p.m. committee hearing was still processing at 4:30 p.m. It also appeared that no additional comments had been successfully submitted Monday afternoon.

Peterson added that there are other avenues for the public to submit their comments about the Legislature’s once-in-a-decade reshaping of electoral boundaries.

“The website is one of many ways for individuals to provide feedback. Individuals can and have submitted comments directly to legislators, as well as attend the public hearing in person and online,” she said.