By LINDSAY WHITEHURST and DAVID A. LIEB
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — New redistricting maps that largely ignore a voter-approved nonpartisan commission in Utah are sparking a backlash and highlighting the challenges the independent panels face an era of deep political divisions and surging gerrymandering. Several states created independent commissions for the once-a-decade process, in hopes the members could work together to draw new voting districts free of partisan gerrymandering. But commissions in states like Virginia and New York have splintered along partisan lines. In Ohio, the majority Republicans passed maps over Democratic objections. In Utah, lawmakers chose their own instead of the commission’s. GOP Gov. Spencer Cox approved the maps Friday.