Utah Independent Redistricting Commission meeting goes off the rails

Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 00:37:21-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The first meeting of Utah’s Independent Redistricting Commission was forced to abruptly conclude after the Zoom call was bombarded by explicit music, racist comments and pornographic images.

The commission members met inside a conference room in Taylorsville. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the meeting was broadcast on Zoom so the public could watch and take part in the public comment portion of the proceedings.

“Apparently somebody has nothing better to do than harass public meetings – which I am very sorry for,” said commission chair Rex Facer before the meeting was adjourned.

The commission is a product of Utah voters who approved Proposition 4 in 2018 as a way to combat gerrymandering.

READ: Utah will have two paths for redistricting in 2021

The work of the commission could reshape how Utah is represented at several levels. The seven members are from a bipartisan background. They include former Rep. Rob Bishop and former Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court Christine Durham.

The commission will eventually draw three maps each for Utah’s congressional districts, state legislature and school board.

A legislative committee will ultimately make the final decision later this year.

Redistricting takes place every 10 years following the census count.

The commission will meet again on April 27.

“We’ll have a different electronic format that prevents people from Zoom bombing,” Facer said.