The League of Women Voters of Utah celebrated a hard-fought victory in the battle for redistricting reform as news came of the passage of Proposition 4. Proposition 4 promises the creation of an independent redistricting commission that is tasked with drawing lines for state legislative and congressional districts—meaning that those in power will no longer be the ones in charge of shaping their districts and choosing their voters.
Putting power back where it belongs
The successful ballot initiative put power back where it belongs: in the hands of Utah voters.
The League of Women Voters of Utah first worked with partners throughout the state to gain the necessary signatures to put Proposition 4 on the November ballot. After securing its spot on the ballot, members and volunteers continued to work throughout the state to inform voters of what was at stake and the importance of a fair redistricting process. Leaguers made the education and engagement fun by approaching Utah voters at events, such as county and community fairs.
Utah saw an incredible amount of mail-in and provisional ballots in the 2018 election which meant the work for League members did not stop on Election Day. Throughout Election Day and beyond, members remained diligently engaged in the democratic process by participating in social media campaigns and phone banking to reach voters and encourage them to make sure their votes were counted. On November 26, nearly two weeks after Election Day, the vote tally was certified by the Lieutenant Governor—verifying the voter approval of Proposition 4.
The dedication of League members, volunteers, and partners accomplished three things:
- giving voters the opportunity to decide their redistricting process;
- educating the public about the ways fair districts empower voters; and
- ensuring every vote was counted.
Protecting the will of the voters
Utah’s independent redistricting commission will serve as an important mechanism to protect the voices of voters. A great example of initiatives like this have can be seen in Pennsylvania where fair maps led to political and gender parity in the 2018 midterm election.
As Utah’s legislature begins implementing Proposition 4, League members and their partners will remain vigilant in safeguarding the progress it has made and will continue to protect the rights, will, and power of Utah voters.