SALT LAKE CITY — More than 100 protesters gathered in the Utah Capitol rotunda Monday morning hoping legislators would listen to their concerns about proposals for redistricting congressional and state seats.
The rally happened while legislators met in closed caucus meetings, after starting the special session one hour late, to discuss the proposed maps.
Chants of “Just vote no,” echoed through the capitol building.
Protesters were upset with the proposed boundaries, claiming that legislators are trying to shut out many constituents, such as Democrats and minorities.
Legislators reconvened in the afternoon to discuss and approve boundary lines for state seats, congressional seats and the state school board. Legislators plan to meet again Tuesday.
Gov. Gary Herbert called for Monday’s special session. Redistricting happens every 10 years following the census count. Utah’s population has grown enough that it received one extra seat for Congress. Legislators have met since April and have held public hearings across the state to receive input on proposed boundaries.
David Irvine of Bountiful was one of the speakers at the rally.
He represented “Utah Citizens Council,” which has joined with other organizations and have offered other proposals to legislators.
Irvine said he is concerned mainly with the proposed congressional redistricting map, which “lumps Bountiful, Woods Cross and North Salt Lake in a huge district.
“It makes the votes as meaningless as votes from Salt Lake County. We will be a permanent minority,” he said.
The three Davis county cities should stay with other urban areas and not be part of a rural district, Irvine said.