Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Thursday that his office will not grant Secretary of State Charlie White’s request to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate White’s allegations of voter fraud by former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh and his wife Susan.
Last week, White filed documents with the prosecutor’s office claiming the Bayhs voted fraudulently in Indiana’s May 2011 primary. He also challenged the Bayhs’ Indiana homestead tax exemption, arguing they primarily lived in Washington, D.C. He asked for Curry to appoint a special prosecutor.
White himself faces felony voter fraud and other charges in Hamilton County based on his use of his ex-wife’s home address when he registered to vote in 2010. His trial is set to begin in January.
Curry said in a statement that White’s allegations against the Bayhs of improper voter registration don’t include anything that would show that the Bayhs intend to abandon their Marion County residency.
“The mere fact that a person maintains a residence in a state other than Indiana – even if the out-of-state property is more valuable than the Indiana property – is insufficient to conclude that the person has committed fraud by voting in Indiana,” he said.
White can still petition the court to appoint a special prosecutor.
Curry said he’s sending the complaint to the Marion County Election Board so it can determine whether there is a substantial reason to believe an election law violation occurred and investigate if one is found. He also said White must bring up his homestead tax issue with the Marion County Auditor’s Office.
“Finally, Mr. White alleges that a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the Bayhs because Mr. and Mrs. Bayh, according to Mr. White, have engaged in the similar conduct which has resulted in pending criminal charges against Mr. White in Hamilton County,” Curry said. “We would note that the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has no involvement whatsoever in the pending Hamilton County matter. The mere suggestion that someone else has engaged in the same conduct alleged in the Hamilton County criminal charges is again insufficient to justify appointment of a special prosecutor.”