Indiana GOP elections chief candidate faces fraud questions

Diego Morales

Republican Indiana secretary of state candidate Diego Morales faced sharp criticism Thursday as records show he voted in one county while claiming a property tax credit for living in another as he unsuccessfully ran for Congress four years ago.

Democrats alleged Morales might have committed voter fraud, a claim that comes days ahead of Tuesday’s elections as Morales has emphasized “election integrity” in his campaign to become Indiana’s top elections official.

Hendricks county records, first reported Thursday by The Indianapolis Star, show that Morales voted in the 2018 primary and general elections using the address of a Plainfield condominium. At the same time, Marion County records show he and his wife were also receiving the maximum $45,000 property tax assessment deduction for an Indianapolis house that is limited by state law to a person’s primary place of residence.

Morales declined to comment Thursday to The Associated Press, according to his campaign staff.

Morales, a former governor’s office aide to Mike Pence, is trying to extend Republican control of the secretary of state’s office against Democratic candidate Destiny Wells. She has attacked Morales for being ousted from low-level jobs in that office in 2009 and 2011 after being written up for poor work performance and as one of many Republican 2020 “election deniers” seeking to win state offices around the country.

Morales has sidestepped addressing questions about those issues and whether he has overemphasized his military service during his campaign.

Wells and state Democratic Chairman Mike Schmuhl both released statements Thursday accusing Morales of possible voter fraud with his 2018 ballots.

“I don’t think the choice could be any more clear for Indiana—a vote for Diego Morales will further degrade Indiana’s elections, further insult Hoosiers’ integrity, and set the stage for failure at the highest levels of Indiana government,” said Wells, a lawyer and Army Reserve lieutenant colonel.

Morales has told the AP that his priorities as secretary of state would include “cleaning voter rolls” by checking more aggressively for people also registered to vote in other states and creating an “election task force” that would investigate “shenanigans” in counties around the state. He also advocated for extending to mail-in ballots the state law requiring voters to show a government-issued ID card.

“My vision, my number one, obviously, vision is to be the protector, the defender of our elections,” Morales said. “In my mind if we don’t protect our elections now, we won’t have a country soon.”

Marion County property records state Morales and his wife bought their one-story house on the northeast side of Indianapolis and were granted the standard homestead property tax exemption in 2017.

In September 2017, Morales registered to vote in Hendricks County, just west of Indianapolis, as he was starting a campaign for the 2018 Republican nomination for an open U.S. House seat from Indiana’s 4th District. That district included the Plainfield condominium, which records show Morales did not own, but no parts of Indianapolis.

Morales finished a distant third in the GOP primary, which was won by U.S. Rep. Jim Baird. His voter registration was moved to the Indianapolis address before the 2020 elections, according to Hendricks County records.

Morales’ voter registration actions recall those of Republican Charlie White. He lost his position as secretary of state in 2012 after being convicted on felony voter fraud-related charges for using his ex-wife’s address for his voter registration instead of a condo he shared with his fiancee so he wouldn’t lose his Fishers Town Council seat after moving out of that district.

Morales potentially committed felony voter fraud as state law requires a person to live in a precinct for at least 30 days before voting in an election, Indiana University law professor Luis Fuentes-Rohwer told The Indianapolis Star.

Morales’ situation “sounds like the very example of voter fraud derided by partisans at the national stage who happen to be Republican,” said Fuentes-Rohwer, who specializes in election issues. “This is the example you hear about, the reason we need voter ID in Indiana, the argument has always been for cases like this one.”

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9 thoughts on “Indiana GOP elections chief candidate faces fraud questions

  1. A whole bunch of nonsense which could have been avoided if Republican delegates were not so filled with blind rage about masks that they figured the guy who came to serve them food at their Lincoln Day dinners was a better choice than Holli Sullivan.

    On the flip side, many Republican voters will never see this story and will be perplexed when Diego is convicted of a felony and removed from office. I hope Eric Holcomb reappoints Sullivan to the role to remind them of their stupidity.

    Here’s Diego from the Star story showing yet again why he ducks debates and most media. And people think he can run elections?

    =====

    IndyStar statehouse reporter Kaitlin Lange asked Morales about his 2018 residency during a Sept. 29 interview about the secretary of state’s race. Lange asked: “Did you actually live in Plainfield during your campaign?”

    “What’s the relevance of this? We’re talking about election integrity here,” Morales replied, according to a transcript of the interview. “We’re talking about my qualifications to be the next secretary of state.”

    When Lange persisted, Morales repeated, “I don’t know what the relevance is in all of this.”

    After some chatter, a campaign staffer asked what the question was. Lange reiterated: “Did he actually live in his Plainfield home he said he did during his campaign in 2018?”

    This time, Morales answered.

    “Of course,” he said. “The answer is yes, of course.”

    1. So again, the documented cases of election fraud tend to be Republicans…here in Indiana and elsewhere.

      And they want us to trust them to properly run free and fair elections?

    2. Chris–

      The “documented cases of election fraud tend to be Republicans” because the legacy media is 100% an extension of the Democratic party and seeks at every point to hide Democratic malfeasance. They don’t report fraud if it comes from the donkey party. They actively seek to do exactly what they did with Hunter Biden’s laptop content.

      This is a relatively new strategy. They used to simply lie and smear but it’s far easier to get sued for libel for doing that, especially when the person they smear isn’t already a public figure (e.g. Nick Sandmann). So they’ve learned the best thing to do when it comes to the monumental, Argentinian levels of Dem corruption is to simply not report it at all. Can’t get sued for something they never covered to begin with.

      This is precisely why about 100M of us who gave up on the legacy media years ago know that the 2020 election was obviously rigged.

      Of course we can’t trust either party to run free and fair elections on their own, which is why you need the “watchers” to be neutral institutions, as much as possible.

      All the chitchat on this site shows is a bunch of echo-chamber dwellers who are still deluded into thinking the WaPo and Associated Press are “centrist” when they’re basically no better than Breitbart or Gateway Pundit but for leftists. Of course they find corruption with Republicans and none with Dems…and y’all take it as media reporting and not the propaganda that it is. LOL. They don’t investigate Dems. They don’t report it. Or, if they do report it, they bury the lede so most people (who only read headlines and the first paragraph) don’t find out about it. It really is that simple.

      If the media were as in the pocket of the GOP as they currently are for the Dems, then yes, the GOP would likely be as corrupt. But that hasn’t happened in a century, and even a GOP-leaning state like Indiana still has overwhelmingly left-leaning media.

      Morales 2022

    3. I ask you what I’ve asked repeatedly – share the names of the news sites you’ve decided are reputable. Show us the way to the truth. What you’ve shared is even less useful than a media bias chart. It’s like you’re embarrassed by where you get your information. You can slag on every news site that exists and just claim the truth is what you want it to be.

      I suppose you think all those Trump judges who tossed his “election fraud” court cases are also in the pocket for the liberal media. I suspect they all just fooled the Federalist Society to get those lifetime appointments, huh? Because, why else would Trump lose every court case and have to call a mob to the Capitol with such … overwhelming evidence of fraud?

      Only judge who seems to want to listen is Clarence Thomas. Funny how he doesn’t want to recuse himself for … obvious reasons. Might make things awkward around the house if you don’t abuse your office to cover for your spouse’s malfeasance.

      Enjoy the six weeks of Secretary of State Diego Morales before he’s convicted of his voting felony and tossed out of office, to be replaced by Eric Holcomb’s selection. Maybe Todd Rokita will hire him just to fire him again, like George Steinbrenner used to do to Billy Martin.

  2. Joe B. SO true. You are spot on, with every point. This is (likely…) not going to end well and it has the potential to be 2012, all over again, as it did with Charlie White.

    1. And the Rs are staying silent since they get to “keep” the office if Morales wins and is immediately removed.

      Remember, Vop Osili didn’t get far suing to get the office when Charlie White won it under a cloud…

    2. And that was when Vop could make the (I think, but check me) successful case that Charlie wasn’t a legal registered voter and hence was ineligible to be on the ballot to begin with.

      Look, Diego is going to win thanks to inertia. Bunch of folks just going to pull Republican, some are going to be amazed a guy named Diego is the Republican candidate. Diego is doing what he needs to do to win, which is hide from the media and say nothing because all he can do is screw things up if he tries to campaign. His record is a joke and he sounds like an idiot when he speaks. No wonder he won the nomination at the GOP convention – he’s the spitting image of their delegates these days. But, if there’s anything more inept than Diego, it’s the Indiana Democratic Party.

      But Morales’ time in office will be short and Eric Holcomb will pick his successor. As much as I hope destiny Wells wins so Republicans learn that nominating losers has consequences, a world in which Holcomb picks a sane Republican to run that office is a pretty close second.

  3. What a sad state of affairs. I found it hard to find many candidates on my ballot that I actually felt good about voting for, but Morales is definitely at the bottom of the barrel.

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