News and Tribune

December 6, 2010

GOP renews fight in Indiana secretary of state race

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana GOP asked the State Recount Commission again Monday to dismiss a Democratic challenge to the Republican candidate’s victory in the race for secretary of state, once again disputing claims he wasn’t legally registered to vote.

But the Republicans didn’t make any new arguments in a revised motion filed at 11:37 a.m. The commission had given attorneys for Republican Charlie White until noon Monday to clear up a technicality in the original document.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the commission might rule. The panel’s next meeting is Sunday in Mount Vernon.

Indiana Democrats have said White shouldn’t become Indiana’s chief election officer even though he won the November race because — they say — he committed vote fraud by using his ex-wife’s home instead of his condo as his address in the May primary.

White called it an honest mistake caused by his busy schedule and new marriage, but Democrats say he intentionally skirted the law to keep his seat on the Fishers Town Council. Two special prosecutors are investigating.

Democrats argue that White would be ineligible to serve if he’s convicted of vote fraud, and they want Gov. Mitch Daniels to appoint their candidate, Vop Osili, instead.

But White’s attorney, David M. Brooks, said White can’t be denied office on the basis of something that might or might not happen. All the law requires is that he be registered to vote in Indiana, and he was, Brooks said in his motion.

State Republican Chairman Murray Clark has said White won the election and “any attempt to undermine that outcome” would disenfranchise all those who voted for him.