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Indiana Supreme Court Hears Arguments For White’s Successor

Charlie White


Secretary of State Charlie White was convicted of theft and voter fraud.

Ex-Secretary of State Charlie White’s permanent successor is closer to being named after the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Wednesday.

Last June, the Indiana Recount Commission ruled Charlie White was eligible to run for Secretary of State, despite charges he had listed an improper address on his voter registration form. But Marion County judge Louis Rosenberg overturned that decision in December, ordering Democratic runner-up Vop Osili installed.

Since White’s conviction in his voter fraud trial earlier this month, Governor Mitch Daniels appointed White’s chief deputy Jerry Bonnet as his temporary replacement. Deputy Attorney General Stephen Creason represents the Recount Commission and says the fact that White was not registered to vote where he should have been does not negate his election.

“The Commission believes that that technicality cannot be overcome and the voters who voted for you could not be disenfranchised because of that,” he says.

Karen Celestino-Horseman represents the Indiana Democratic Party, which brought the action to remove White from office. She says the Supreme Court would be sending a mixed message to the public by overturning Rosenberg’s decision.

“When the law tells you to be registered to vote, you have to register legally,” Celestino-Horseman says. “That’s what we require of voters, why wouldn’t we require the same thing of candidates?”

If Rosenberg’s decision is overturned, Governor Daniels can appoint White’s permanent replacement. If White is ruled to have been ineligible to run, Osili gets the job by virtue of his runner-up finish in the election.

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