There's been all sorts of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the disqualification of Jeff Duyck from the race for House District 29. (If you missed it, the short version: he lives 125 feet outside the district, but that fact wasn't caught by election officials until after the primary. More here and here.)
The argument for letting him run anyway goes like this: Gee, it's just 125 feet - and the elections officials screwed up, and besides, the maps are so hard to read!
It's important to remember that legislative maps are just useful representations of the house districts, not legal documents. In the Oregon Revised Statutes, each district is clearly described by a long series of census tracts and blocks. (Kind of unwieldy, but it's easier than a polygon described by longitude and latitude coordinates, right?)
In any case, here's the bottom line: It's the candidate's responsibility to figure out where he lives and make sure he's eligible for the seat he wants to run for. (And yes, elections officials should be reliable - but just because they're wrong, doesn't make you right.)
Given that legislative districts are described by census tract, candidates - like Jeff Duyck - who live close to the line perhaps ought to look up their address on the Census Bureau "American FactFinder" website (click on "street address", lower left).
Plugging in Duyck's address (which is public record via ORESTAR) - 44775 SW Ritchey Road, Forest Grove, Oregon 97116 - you get this info:
... County: Washington County
... ... County Subdivision: Forest Grove-Cornelius CCD
... ... Census Tract: Census Tract 333
... ... ... Block Group: Block Group 1
... ... ... ... Block: Block 1097
... Congressional District - 106th: Congressional District 1 (106th Congress)
... Congressional District - 110th: Congressional District 1 (110th Congress)
... State Legislative District, Upper Chamber - Pre-2010: State Senate District 13
... State Legislative District, Lower Chamber - Pre-2010: State House District 26
... School District, Unified: FOREST GROVE SCHOOL DISTRICT 015
... Super Public Use Microdata Area: 41503
... Public Use Microdata Area: 01311
Metropolitan Statistical Area/Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area: Portland--Salem, OR--WA CMSA
... Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area: Portland--Vancouver, OR--WA PMSA
3-Digit ZIP Code Tabulation Area: 971 3-Digit ZCTA
... 5-Digit ZIP Code Tabulation Area: 97116 5-Digit ZCTA
Yup, it's right there in bold. Jeff Duyck lives in HD 26 -- not HD 29.
Sorry, Jeff. You're outta luck. See you in 2010.
(Oh, and incidentally, this is a goldmine for political data nerds. Just pick the legislative district, click OK, and get access to a wealth of census data - summarized by legislative district.)