Charlie White’s Bad Week
It’s been a bad week for Charlie White.
The Indiana Secretary of State race had been for the most part, unremarkable.
Democratic candidate Vop Osili had been doing a great job of crisscrossing the state, getting his “Voice of the People” message out.
Hoosiers were listening and taking notice. But there wasn’t a lot of “news” across the airwaves.
Then of course - the race exploded - Greg Purvis, a former Democratic Fishers Town Council candidate brought to light a litany of disturbing voter registration and residency issues concerning White.
The Indiana Democratic Party jumped into the fray providing the media with a detailed timeline of the White discrepancies, highlighting the chronology of these events, while also calling on current Secretary of State Todd Rokita to investigate.
Here’s the timeline:
Voter registration and property tax records show:
Nov. 7, 2006: White votes in the general election, registered at Broad Leaf Lane.
Jan. 24, 2007: White changes registration to Pintail Drive.
Feb. 22, 2010: White changes registration to Broad Leaf Lane, his ex-wife’s residence
Feb. 26, 2010: White closes sale on new condo on Overview Drive.
March 2010: White moves to Overview Drive (according to what he subsequently tells The Star).
May 4, 2010: White votes in primary election, signs poll book that shows his address as Broad Leaf Lane.
June 19, 2010: White files candidacy for secretary of state, listing his address as Overview Drive but his mailing address as Broad Leaf Lane.
Sept. 21, 2010: White resigns from Fishers Town Council because he no longer lives in the district.
Sept. 22, 2010: White changes voter registration to Overview Drive.
In addition, the Party sent a letter to Hamilton County Prosecutor asking for an investigation and asked Mitch Daniels to intervene – requesting the Governor’s office to turn over all records they have concerning White.
Specifically, the Party presented facts that clearly showed several alarming, severe irregularities concerning the timing of Mr. White’s residency at two separate addresses - and his blatant attempt to skirt the system and then cover it all up.
All so White could maintain a position on the Fishers Town Council.
These circumstances called into question whether White had committed voter fraud, and also brought to the forefront the reality that White could [and maybe should] be disqualified as a candidate.
Here is a portion of Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker’s statement on the matter:
“Charlie White clearly has some explaining to do to the people of Indiana.
“The events from January 2007 up to September 2010 clearly show that Mr. White had sufficient time to realize his mistake and take appropriate steps to change his voter registration address.
“However, Mr. White did not do this.
“Since Mr. White knowingly provided false addresses and voted in the wrong precinct in the May primary, it is my belief he has violated Indiana Election code - potentially carrying serious consequences.
“How can someone seeking the office of Secretary of State - the chief elections officer of the state — be trusted to hold such a position yet lack the ability to follow and understand the laws he is expected to uphold?”
White and his campaign people simply did a terrible job of trying to explain it all to the Evansville Courier & Press:
“A spokesman for White’s campaign did not dispute the facts as Purvis portrayed them, but said what’s important is that as soon as White became aware of the problem, he moved to correct it by resigning.”
An amazing statement when hearing White’s excuse a couple of days later. Here was a response from the White campaign soon after officials from the Democratic Party entered the scene:
“It’s unfortunate that a set of personal and family-related circumstances created this scenario, but the simple fact is that Charlie was entitled under law to vote one last time at his old polling location.
“The only issue here pertains to filing a change of address for his voter registration form, an oversight that has been previously brought up and already fixed.
Charlie has repeatedly taken full responsibility for any mistakes he may have made and has taken all the steps necessary to correct them.”
Um, no. That is not enough. Are you serious? Really? That’s it?
The Secretary of State is the chief elections officer of the state and sets an example for all election administrators enforcing the election code. What example would be set if a candidate for that high office violated that code as Charlie clearly [and intentionally] did?
Why does all of this matter to White? Here’s why - according to Indiana Election Code:
3-14-2-11 Voting in other precincts Sec. 11.
Except as provided by IC 3-10-10, IC 3-10-11, or IC 3-10-12, a person who knowingly votes or offers to vote in a precinct except the one in which the person is registered and resides….
commits a Class D felony.
On Wednesday, Sept. 28 Secretary Rokita’s office responded that it would be launching an investigation.
Rokita issued no timeline for findings on the voter fraud charge, but pointed out that he can take no action other than to refer findings to the prosecutor or the Elections Commission.
The Indianapolis Star summed up this scenario rather eloquently:
“If there were an election for dogcatcher, and it turned out that one of the leading candidates let his own dogs run wild in his neighborhood, you might think twice about casting a vote for him.
“That essentially sums up the controversy surrounding Charlie White, the Republican candidate for secretary of state.
“It’s quite embarrassing.
“After all, Democrats argue, how could White be taken seriously as the elections chief if he can’t even follow the law himself.”
Our point exactly.