State Government and Government & Economic Development and Government and Law

Democrats appeal Indiana elections chief decision

July 29, 2011

Indiana Democrats on Thursday appealed a decision allowing embattled Republican Secretary of State Charlie White to stay in office while he fights voter fraud charges.

The Indiana Democratic Party appealed the Indiana Recount Commission vote allowing White to stay in office. State Democratic Chairman Dan Parker said he wants a Marion County judge to review the decision.

The two Republicans and one Democrat on the Recount Commission voted unanimously last month to let White to keep his job. But comments from the commission's chairman that White's actions brushed up against the line of being illegal merited a court review, Parker said.

"In sports, a call that close merits additional scrutiny, and officials would send it up to the booth for replay. That's what we're asking the Marion Circuit Court to do in this case," Parker said in a statement.

The Democratic Party's appeal of the decision was "predictable," said White spokesman A.J. Feeney-Ruiz.

"The Recount Commission's decision was unanimous. We would have thought that would have sent a strong enough message that this would have been resolved," Feeney-Ruiz said.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted White on voter fraud and other charges in March. White has maintained his innocence and a trial is scheduled September.

Indiana Democrats called for an investigation into White last September after discovering he voted in the 2010 Republican primary while registered to vote at his ex-wife's house in Fishers.

White has said he was largely transient during a one-year period from about May 2009 to May 2010. He spent most of his time campaigning for secretary of state on the road and would occasionally stay at his ex-wife's house, a condo he was buying where his then-fiancée was living with her children or his mother's house, he said.

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