- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A new Utah group is calling for the creation of an independent redistricting commission amid allegations that Republican legislators have gerrymandered districts in the state to give themselves an advantage.

Leaders of the bipartisan Better Boundaries initiative on Thursday filed to start a petition to ask voters next year to create a new commission to redraw Utah’s congressional and legislative district boundaries.

Co-chair and former Democratic Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says people currently feel like their vote doesn’t count.

The initiative calls for the redistricting commission to draw districts after the 2020 census. Lawmakers could vote whether to approve the maps but if they reject the maps, they’d have to explain why.

Greg Hartley, chief of staff to GOP House Speaker Greg Hughes, told the Deseret News that redistricting is a fundamental duty of lawmakers.

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