Redistricting Runs Rampant

Oct 5, 2011
by: Kyra M

Regarding current events, it is difficult to ignore the present controversy in Utah: redistricting. The new district lines have been drawn such that Salt Lake County, a Democratic stronghold in this largely Republican state, is being divided three-way and the Democratic district is being given more rural land. The rural land is predominantly Republican, so that extra land does not help the Democrats. With the shift, Democrats fear they will lose all district seats, especially with only a portion of Salt Lake County. In short, it seems like a gerrymandering effort by the Republicans to gain all four Congressional seats. And in reality, that is probably what will result from the change. 

This topic reminded me of the political commentary in Unspun by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. In a sense, the Republicans are spinning their actions in order to gain public support. They claim the new borders are for the benefit of the state, but mostly so they can more easily push for plans advantageous to their political party. They are, in a fashion, spinning their claims. On the other hand, there is no direct evidence of foul play, but a lot can be assumed by the Democrats. Obviously the Republicans and Democrats are in disagreement, but it just seems strange that the Republicans would be doing all this purely for the benefit of the state, and not also for the benefit of their party.