Judge throws out Indiana secretary of state's election

Charlie White
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A judge has reversed a decision by the Indiana Recount Commission and ordered it to decertify the 2010 election of Indiana's embattled Republican secretary of state.

Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg issued a ruling Thursday reversing and setting aside the Recount Commission's unanimous June decision that Charlie White was eligible to run for office last year despite questions over where he legally resided. Rosenberg ordered the commission to certify Democrat Vop Osili as Indiana's secretary of state.

Recount Commission spokesman A.J. Feeney-Ruiz says White remains secretary of state for now. He says the panel will seek a stay of Rosenberg's ruling pending an appeal.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller's Office will seek an appellate review of a trial court's ruling overturning a decision by the Indiana Recount Commission.

The Attorney General's Office represents the Indiana Recount Commission and other state boards and agencies but does not represent White as a candidate in this case.

"One obligation of our office is to represent state government boards such as the Indiana Recount Commission in lawsuits, and when a board's unanimous administrative decision is overturned by a court, the order should be reviewed by a higher court. We will seek a stay of the court's ruling and are in communication with our client the Recount Commission to discuss the process of an appeal," said Bryan Corbin, Indiana attorney general's office.

It's now up to White's attorney to file an immediate injunction to block the order until the appeals process is over.

The recount commission should meet next week.

See the ruling

Case background

Democrats argued that White illegally registered to vote in the 2010 primary at his ex-wife's address when he also had a condo with his then-fiancee. They say that makes his candidacy invalid, renders him ineligible to hold office, and installs Democratic candidate Vop Osili as secretary of state.

White still faces criminal charges including voter fraud. A Hamilton County judge refused to dismiss the seven felony counts, including voter fraud, White is facing. The judge said Wednesday that White's position as Secretary of State has no bearing on the court case, and there is no legal authority limiting a prosecution of White. 

If White is convicted of any of those seven counts, his office becomes vacant and the governor would appoint someone to fill the position.