ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – According to data by the U.S. Census, Washington County is nearly 30% more populated than it was in 2019.
“Over the last 10 years, Washington County has grown dramatically and as a result, representation has to be drawn to Washington County because they’ve grown faster than the state as a whole,” says Rex Facer, the Chair of the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission (UIRC).
The redistricting process only happens once every 10 years and due to the region’s latest growth, state officials say the process is only becoming more complex.
“More representation is going to come out of Washington County but that also then means less representation out of other places, such as Salt Lake County, although the current proposal from the legislature still has Salt Lake County paired with Washington County,” says Facer.
After UIRC’s maps were rejected, Facer says Southern Utah residents may feel their voices will be drowned out, being paired with urban communities along the Wasatch Front.
“There’s a real disconnect between the interests of the urban area with the interests of not only Washington County, but the rest of rural Southern Utah,” he says.
Especially because issues in Southern Utah, like water and tourism, are very different from what’s happening along the Wasatch Front.
“That process is really all about reaching out to your legislature, letting them know what your preference is. Do you want be represented with someone out of Salt Lake or would you rather, you know be represented with people down in Southern Utah county?”
Facer says residents can still reach out to their local legislatures this evening to help make a decision that will last for the next 10 years.