LEHI — The Redistricting Committee held its first of 17 scheduled city and town meetings Friday evening in Lehi, where it received varied perspectives from Utah citizens.
The committee, comprised of 14 Republicans and 5 Democrats, is tasked with redrawing boundaries for 75 House seats, 29 Senate seats, 15 State School Board seats and now four congressional seats based on the 2010 Census. It has met twice previously to adopt guidelines and familiarize members with the process.
Committee chairman Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, represents Lehi — a community that has experienced the largest population growth in the state in the last 10 years — and neighboring high-growth areas, with more than 90,000 people in his district. The ideal House seat should represent only 36,852. To prevent that kind of disproportionate representation from happening again, patrons from Lehi and other booming places asked the committee to draw the new district lines in their areas in such a way that encompasses even less area than required so there is room for inevitable continued growth.
"Let's make sure that we balance this the best that we can," said David Lifferth of Eagle Mountain. "If we do this perfectly even, as soon as the maps are drawn, they will be obsolete."
The committee will work throughout the summer and will decide on new statewide political boundaries by the fall.
Those boundaries will be used in the 2012 election. Rep. Sumsion said the committee is in the very early discussions, and each member is still drafting its own individual maps.
The public will be able to submit their own recommendations online soon at www.redistrictutah.com/