One of the first items of business for each house of the Utah Legislature during their opening sessions on January 24th will be to hear the reading of a roster of the names of the members of each house and then to vote on whether to accept that roster. It is likely that Craig Frank's name will not be on the roster of the Utah House of Representatives when that roster is read. That is unfortunate. Not only does the Craig Frank District 57 saga involve an honest mistake, it is a different mistake than most people have been led to believe. When everything is considered, in two out of three ways, Craig Frank's District 57 residency does pass Utah Constitutional muster.
The saga began when Mr. Frank on a whim decided to try out the "Find Your Legislator" feature on the Utah state web site:
“I typed in our address in Cedar Hills,” Frank said. “To my surprise my picture didn’t come up on that. Representative Dougall came up.”
So, Frank does not live in District 57--right?
Not so fast.
Now let's go back several months in time to when a Utah County clerk recorded the boundaries of district 57, some say incorrectly.
The issue stems from an error by the Utah County Clerk, who mistakenly included a portion of Cedar Hills in a map of House District 57 created in 2001.But was it really an error?
In one regard, according to the official state maps, the Utah County clerk made an error. But in another regard, the same state maps indicate the the Utah County clerk did not make an error.
It was clearly intended that all of Cedar Hills be in Legislative District 57. Craig Frank lives in Cedar Hills. It just happens to be the portion of Cedar Hills that was annexed at about the time the official state boundary maps were being created. That means that the only error made was made on the state maps themselves. Craig Frank had every reason to believe that he was in district 57 when he filed for the legislative seat, when he ran for that seat, and when he won it. One of the two indicators on the official Utah State map says that Craig Frank is a resident of District 57. How then, should the stalemate be broken? It should be solved by how the Utah County clerk recorded the boundaries on the county map after consulting the state map.
The official state map reads “city boundary” but the line does not include the area of Cedar Hills that was annexed as the maps were being drafted.
To reiterate, the only honest mistake that was made was made by whoever drew up the Utah legislative district map. Other than that, no mistakes were made. It is clear from the official state map that District 57 was intended to include all of Cedar Hills, where Craig Frank lives.
Two out of three constitutional indicators signify that Craig Frank should be seated as a Utah legislator come January 24th.