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Letter: Let’s end gerrymandering — vote ‘yes’ on Prop 4

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) In this Nov. 16, 2017, file photo, San Juan County Commissioners Bruce Adams, left, and Phil Lyman, right, get a better look at the county population divisions in the proposed redistricting map for school districts prior to the meeting in Monticello, Utah. Navajos who once worried they'd have to drive hours to cast their ballots in Utah say a new settlement is a step forward as tribes challenge what they call discriminatory voting practices around the United States. The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah said Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, the settlement that requires tribal-accessible polling places and Navajo-language help is a victory for voting rights. San Juan County, though, says they're committed to fair elections and took the steps themselves.

Who wouldn’t want fair elections? Who wouldn’t want representatives who reflected their views? Who wouldn’t want a government that works for its constituents? Well, that is the goal behind Proposition 4, a citizen-led initiative that seeks to end gerrymandering in Utah.

Our current district boundaries in Utah have been drawn not to reflect the views of the voters, but to assure continued power of our elected officials. This inequality was not done for the benefit of Utah’s residents, but was created to ensure the control over Utah politics.

Now ask yourself, why would anybody oppose the drawing of fair boundaries? What would be their motivation to continue the unfair status quo? Power!

One who has total authority is very likely to abuse that position; this phrase was used by the British historian Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If there are not citizen checks on the power of our politicians, their power becomes detrimental to democracy. We have seen this happen in Utah, time and time again.

Please vote “yes” for Proposition 4; please vote for a fair and representative government. Let’s end gerrymandering; let’s create fair districts; let’s fix this.

Iris J. Nielsen, North Logan

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