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Former Indiana Elections Chief’s Law License Suspended

The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended former Secretary of State Charlie White’s license on an interim basis because of his felony convictions earlier this year.

White was found guilty in February of vote fraud, perjury and theft stemming from his voter registration for the 2010 Republican primary.

He was sentenced to a year of home detention and forced to step down as secretary of state. He has said he plans to appeal his convictions.

The law license suspension is effective May 10th.

(Information for this story came from the Associated Press)

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Indiana Primary Registration Deadline Is Monday

Monday is the deadline for Indiana residents to register or update their registrations to vote in next month’s primary election.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson says there are many ways to get signed up, including an online option.

“If a voter wanted to go to Indianavoters.com, they’ll see a wealth of information that’s driven by our statewide voter registration system. They can register to vote online. They can also go to the county election board or come to the election division and register in person,” she said.

People can also register to vote at county clerk and Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices. Registrations can also be mailed as long as they have an April 9th postmark.

Monday also marks the start of early voting in Indiana.

In addition to the presidential election, there will be races for Congress, the state legislature and the judiciary on the Indiana ballot.

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Indiana Voter Registration Deadline Approaching

The deadline to register to vote or update voter information for Indiana’s May primary election is next Monday, April 9.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson says people may register at county voter registration offices, county clerks’ offices or Bureau of Motor Vehicles license branches.

New Indiana voters or those who’ve moved or changed names since the last election must update registrations by the close of business Monday.

People can also mail in registration forms as long as they’re postmarked by April 9. If they have a current Indiana driver’s license or BMV identification card, they also can register online.

April 9 also marks the start of early absentee voting.

(Information for this story came from the Associated Press)

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State Sen. Connie Lawson Appointed Indiana Secretary of State

Republican Indiana state Sen. Connie Lawson will replace ousted Secretary of State Charlie White as Indiana’s top elections official.

Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Lawson’s appointment today. The decision came a day after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that White’s 2010 candidacy was valid despite his Feb. 4 conviction on voter fraud and other felony charges.

The court ruling dashed Democrats’ hopes of having runner-up Vop Osili named to the job and cleared the way for the Republican governor to appoint a successor.

White was removed from office last month following his conviction. He was sentenced Feb. 23 to one year of home detention.

“Connie was an obvious choice,” Daniels said in a statement. “Indiana has probably never been served by a Secretary of State better prepared on day one.”

Lawson was clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court from 1989 to 1996.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker also issued a statement regarding Lawson’s appointment:

“We congratulate Senator Lawson on her appointment and wish her well in this position. We hope she will uphold the election code and work across the aisle to protect and expand the Hoosier electorate and not disenfranchise voters.

“Senator Lawson has a tough road ahead of her to restore integrity to an office stained by the record of the convicted felon who most recently occupied it. We hope, for all Hoosiers, that she is able to successfully rebuild.”

Lawson’s appointment goes into effect immediately. She has resigned from the Senate.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)

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Local News Politics

Indiana High Court Says Daniels Can Appoint White’s Successor

From the Associated Press:

The Indiana Supreme Court has cleared the way for Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels to appoint ousted Secretary of State Charlie White’s replacement, dashing Democrats’ hopes of taking the politically powerful statewide office.

The court voted unanimously today to overturn a Marion County judge’s decision ordering the state recount commission to certify 2010 runner-up Vop Osili as the state’s top elections official.

Democrats argued that White’s candidacy was invalid because he was improperly registered to vote. They said his Feb. 4 conviction on voter fraud charges proved their point.

The commission contended that the criminal case and the civil case were unrelated and the court should not overturn an election. It argued that since White was removed from office for a conviction, he should be replaced by the governor.

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Local News Politics

Indiana High Court Hears Arguments in SOS Succession Dispute

From the Associated Press:

Indiana Supreme Court justices peppered both sides with pointed questions during arguments to determine whether ousted Secretary of State Charlie White was ever a legal candidate for the office.

Most of the questions during today’s hour-long hearing centered on state laws regarding voter registration and the requirements for the secretary of state’s office. The justices posed several hypothetical questions about how White’s situation might be applied to ordinary voters who live in one place and vote in another.

At issue is a court order mandating that the state recount commission certify Democratic runner-up Vop Osili the winner of the 2010 election because White’s candidacy was invalid. White was removed from office this month after being convicted of voter fraud.

The state argues the governor should appoint White’s successor.

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Local News Politics

Indiana Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over SOS Vacancy

The dispute over who should finish the term of ousted Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White moves to the Indiana Supreme Court this week.

White can no longer serve as secretary of state following his conviction and sentencing for voter fraud and other felonies.

State Democrats and Republicans are at odds over who should finish White’s four year term as the state’s chief elections officer.

Democrats say it should be Vop Osili, their candidate who lost to White in the 2010 general election. A circuit judge has upheld their claim that White was never eligible to hold the office because he lied about his residence on a voter registration form.

Republicans say state law allows Governor Mitch Daniels to name White’s replacement.

Daniels appointed White’s chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, to serve as interim secretary until the high court issues a ruling. The court will hear arguments on Wednesday

Charlie White was sentenced to a year of home detention for his felony offenses. The sentence has been postponed until White’s appeal is heard.

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Local News Politics

Charlie White Sentenced To Home Detention

A Hamilton County, Indiana judge has sentenced former Secretary of State Charlie White to one year of home detention for voter fraud, theft and other offenses.

White was convicted early this month of six felony counts related to his voter registration in the 2010 Republican primary.

The judge denied White’s request that the convictions be reduced to misdemeanors so White could return to office.

White was accused of putting his ex-wife’s address as his residence on the voter form when he was actually living at a townhouse with his fiancé.

Prosecutors say he lied on the registration to protect his seat on the Fishers City Council.

White is expected to appeal his convictions.

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a political battle over who should permanently replace White as Secretary of State.

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Local News Politics

Former Indiana Elections Chief To Face Sentencing

Sentencing will be held tomorrow for former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.

White was found guilty early this month of six felony counts, including voter fraud and theft, related to his voter registration for the 2010 Republican primary. Each count carries up to three years in prison.

Prosecutors say White lied about his residence in order to keep his seat on the Fishers City Council, when he had actually moved out of his council district.

White was forced to step down as Secretary of State because of the felony convictions, but has said he will ask the judge to reduce them to misdemeanors so he can be reinstated.

If the request is denied, it’s unclear who would take over as permanent Secretary of State. Gov. Mitch Daniels says it should be his appointee, but state Democrats argue the job should go to White’s Democratic opponent in 2010.

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in the dispute next week.

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Local News Politics

Battle Over White’s Replacement Likely Headed To State Supreme Court

The felony conviction of former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White has Democrats and Republicans going to battle over who should replace him if the judge upholds the verdicts.

White was found guilty last weekend of voter fraud and other counts related to his voter registration for the 2010 Republican primary, and was forced from office.

Prosecutors say White lied about his address in order to protect his council seat in the Fishers community.

White says he plans to ask the judge to reduce his convictions to misdemeanors at sentencing later this month, which would allow him to resume office.

IUPUI political science professor Brian Vargus says it’s unlikely the judge will grant the request, and the state Supreme Court will likely determine who holds the job next.