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High court denies rehearing in secretary of state eligibility suit

June 16, 2011

The Indiana Supreme Court will continue to stay out of the suit involving Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White and whether he was eligible to run for office.

The justices denied White’s petition for rehearing Thursday in Charlie White, et al. v. Indiana Democratic Party, No. 49S02-1105-MI-291. They denied his motion to stay May 20 after granting emergency transfer under Indiana Appellate Rule 56(A) and dismissed the appeal.

The Indiana Recount Commission is investigating whether White was eligible to run for Indiana Secretary of State because he registered using a false home address during his campaign. Marion Circuit Judge Lou Rosenberg ordered commission members to hear a challenge from Democrats on White’s eligibility. There is an evidentiary hearing for the election contest scheduled June 21 and the commission has a self-imposed June 30 deadline for deciding the matter. The Indiana Recount Commission recently decided that the June 21 hearing will be streamed online and TV cameras will be allowed. White argued against allowing TV cameras in the hearing.

White also has criminal charges pending in Hamilton County, including felony voter fraud charges, and is scheduled to go to trial in August. He wanted the Supreme Court to stay the recount matter until the criminal case is resolved because he argued the voter fraud question is what is at issue in both matters. If White is convicted of a felony, he would not be able to hold office. He could also be removed from office if the commission determines he wasn’t legally registered and able to be on the ballot.

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