The Democrats challenge to Secretary of State Charlie White‘s election will be resolved by June 30. The Indiana Recount Commission has set a June 21 hearing on the Democrats charge White was ineligible to run because he used an address on his voter registration that wasn‘t his. Temporary Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler scolded attorneys for characterizing past rulings as partisan.
“I spent five years chairing the Indiana Election Commission, and we heard everything from presidential challenges all the way down. I know that that body operated in a bipartisan fashion, not in a partisan fashion, and I know the other two commissioners here. I will promise you this is not a partisan process,” Wheeler said.
He and the panel‘s democratic member, Buddy Pylitt, both vow the commission will make its judgment based on the facts. The panel voted 2-1 along party lines to throw out the Democrats challenge in December. Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg ordered the commission to reconsider. A ruling against White would hand his job to losing democratic nominee Vop Osili. White is awaiting an august trial on criminal charges arising from the same allegations but Wheeler is urging both sides to come to a quick agreement on how much evidence they need to collect before the June 21st hearing.
“There‘s an awful lot of this I truly believe can be stipulated to, and I truly hope that you guys will do that, because a) it‘ll make it go a lot faster; b) i don‘t think the public is interested in seeing a lot of squabbling,” Wheeler said.
A felony conviction would force White from office, but in that circumstance, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels would appoint his successor.