FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2018
ABU EDUCATION FUND RELEASES RURAL REDISTRICTING REPORT
“Fair Redistricting: A Better Deal for Rural Utah”
Salt Lake City, UT – Today, the ABU Education Fund released a report focused on the impacts of gerrymandering on rural Utah. The report, titled “Fair Redistricting: A Better Deal for Rural Utah,” outlines the recent history of redistricting in Utah, explains the reasoning behind our four rural-urban mixed districts, and explores the ways in which rural-urban mixed districts disadvantage rural Utahns.
Key takeaways of the report include:
- Rural Utah has specific needs that are not fully advanced by either republicans or democrats living in urban parts of the state.
- Utah’s current congressional House districts feature a mix of rural and urban areas, which typically results in rural voters being represented by people from urban parts of the state.
- Because of the way Utah’s congressional districts are currently drawn, 61.3 percent of rural Utahns do not have a congressional representative from rural Utah.
“Gerrymandering is a hot topic, both nationally and in Utah,” said Lauren Simpson, ABU Education Fund policy director. “With Proposition 4 on the ballot this November, it’s important that Utahns look at the full picture in order to understand the realities of fair or unfair redistricting. Often, gerrymandering in Utah is framed in such a way that makes it seem that only Salt Lake City would benefit from fair redistricting, when in reality, rural Utahns have just as much to gain from good maps.
“Although rural Utahns and urban Utahns typically vote for members of the same political party, we’ve found that urban lawmakers often overlook rural Utah’s distinct needs,” Simpson continued. “Rather than being united as a community of shared interests, rural Utah is broken up and treated like a solvent to dissolve urban parts of the state. Unsurprisingly, these rural-urban mixed districts usually do not elect rural representatives. The information compiled in this report concludes that political districts should keep rural communities united, because the best people to represent rural Utah are rural Utahns themselves.”
The report can be found here.
The ABU Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a strong, educational voice by creating resources that advance civic engagement and good governance. For more information, visit their website here.