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Among all the other complaints about insider dealing in the Utah County candidate nomination system this year, add one about state Republican Chairman Stan Lockhart's daughter being elected as a delegate in a neighborhood caucus where she didn't live at the time.

It appears to violate the plain language of the rules, though party leaders insist it doesn't.

"I'm not concerned about family members getting elected as delegates as long as it goes by the rules," said Peggy Burdett, who has been active in Utah County Republican politics since 1990. "The rules say you must attend the caucus where you live."

As a former precinct chair, Burdett had been told she could request proof of address from caucus attendees, such as a driver license, check or piece of mail.

According to state and Utah County bylaws, caucus participants must turn 18 by November's general election and reside in the precinct where they caucus.

Hannah Lockhart, who turns 18 in July, lives with her parents in Provo, said her dad. But she moves to her new precinct before the county's April 26 convention to attend Brigham Young University for spring term.

"Typically [delegates] have to live in the precinct they represent," Stan Lockhart said. "But many of the documents are somewhat vague as to whether they refer to the night of the caucus or the convention."

Mariann Monnahan, who chairs the Utah County Republican Party, sides with Lockhart.

"They attend the caucus where they will be living," Monnahan said. "Our rules say you must live within the precinct you represent when the convention takes place - that's the key."

Other GOP faithful disagree, countering that residency refers to where someone lives at the time of the caucuses, which were held in neighborhoods around the state on March 25.

"If not, I could show up anywhere and say, 'I'm moving into the precinct' and get to vote without ever having lived there," said Dave Irvine, an attorney who has been active in the Republican Party for years.

"Regrettably, the rules that apply to everyone else ought to apply to the party chairman."

Other recent GOP flaps in right-leaning Utah County include grumblings over the party's withholding of delegate e-mail addresses and its automatic delegate policy, where party officers and elected officials double as delegates. Some call for change, saying the practices tilt the nomination process in favor of incumbents and party insiders.


* ROBERT GEHRKE contributed to this story.

Utah County Republican bylaw:

"Only citizens who will be at least eighteen years old by the next November election and who reside in the Voting Precinct shall be entitled to vote in the Voting Precinct Caucus."

Utah State Republican Party bylaw:

"Each [caucus] participant shall be: A Utah citizen who resides in the precinct."