Indiana’s bloated voter registration rolls, which officials say make elections more susceptible to fraud, will soon come under more scrutiny by the state. The Indiana Secretary of State’s office will spend more than $2 million to purge the voter registration rolls in each of Indiana’s 92 counties, removing the names of voters who are dead, in prison, or have moved away. County election officials are responsible for keeping the voter rolls current, but the lack of money has caused some of them to fall behind. The result: In some counties, the number of people listed on the active voter rolls is higher than the number of voting-age people who live there.
Articles about voting issues in Indiana.
Legislation passed during the 2013 session requires a statewide mailing to verify and update voter registration information every two years and puts money behind the effort. Secretary of State Connie Lawson says voters will receive postcards in the mail with their registration info. They mail the cards back with any changes listed. Lawson says the mailing will also remove voters from the rolls.
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White will get a new judge to hear his complaints about his criminal trial, which ended with a jury convicting him of six felonies.White had petitioned for a new judge in March, claiming that Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation, who had handled his case since his 2011 indictment, was biased against him because of their dealings when White was chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party.
While his company came up short on its bid to supply Floyd County with new voting equipment, Jeremy Burton with ES&S — Election System & Software — wanted to at least voice concerns with the Floyd County Commissioners at a special meeting Wednesday night at the Pine View Government Center. Burton and attorney John Kraft, who represents ES&S, told the commissioners and members of the election board that the county overspent when deciding to purchase new machines, along with software and other equipment, from RBM Consulting, for $396,000. Floyd County will move to vote centers in 2014. Burton said his company’s bid was 21 percent less than others, including RBM. Also, ES&S has been supplying voting equipment and services to Floyd County since 1992. Kraft told commissioners they could have stayed with the current voting machines, which would have saved tax dollars. He said ES&S could have continued to service the current machines through 2016, and there was no reason to end the relationship or move to new equipment. However, Commissioner Chuck Freiberger said there were several meetings held on the subject before deciding on vote centers. He said the idea was first discussed five years ago.
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White said in court documents Thursday that his attorney didn’t mount any defense to protect him from the conviction that forced him from office. The assertion is among several in a petition filed in Hamilton County asking a judge to toss out White’s convictions on voter fraud and other counts. White said the defense strategy used by his attorney — former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi — was “deficient and unreasonable.” Brizzi did not call any witnesses at White’s February 2012 trial and immediately rested the defense after the prosecution wrapped up its case. White was sentenced last year to one year of home detention and remains free on bail. The document says Brizzi’s defense was riddled with errors and that the former prosecutor was “ignorant of the law.”
A threat to voters casting ballots before Election Day has been averted at the Statehouse, but the fight might not be over. Currently in Indiana, voters can cast ballots at their county clerk’s office up to 29 days before an election, even in counties that don’t allow satellite voting. But a pair of amendments that were prepared for a vote Monday but then withdrawn could have reduced that to just 10 days. Last year, nearly 40,000 people voted early in Marion County. People who do so say they like it because it’s convenient, it doesn’t interrupt their job schedules and it eliminates the possibility that a last-minute problem might cost them their vote.
Indiana: Charlie White must file court documents in voter fraud trial by March 15 | Indianapolis Star
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White has until March 15 to file court documents explaining why he thinks he should get a new trial on voter fraud and theft charges. During a telephone conference with attorneys on the case Wednesday afternoon, Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation asked White’s attorney, Andrea Ciobanu, to file White’s post-conviction relief petition by March 15. He also scheduled a June 4 hearing on the petition. However, Nation did not rule on special prosecutors’ motion for White to begin serving his one-year home-detention sentence, special prosecutor Dan Sigler said today.
Students who pay out-of-state tuition in Indiana might not have the chance to vote come election time. State lawmakers are considering a bill that might cost some Purdue students a little more than some extra cash for their education. In fact, if passed the bill could end up costing some students their vote. “The thing that has raised so much attention, not just in Indiana but across the nation, has been the effort to tie eligibility for voter registration to the university’s billing process,” West Lafayette City Councilman Eddie VanBogaert said. VanBogaert, a Purdue graduate originally from Illinois, said under House Bill 1311, students who pay out-of-state tuition would no longer be able to vote in Indiana. VanBogaert said this is something he doesn’t agree with. “I’ve seen first hand how this billing process isn’t an appropriate stand-point for being able to determine someone’s eligibility to exercise a really fundamental right,” VanBogaert said.
Austin Mayor Doug Campbell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor electioneering in Scott Superior Court Tuesday morning under a plea deal stemming from allegations of voter fraud.The deal allows Campbell — who had originally been charged with three felonies — to avoid jail and stay in office. Under Indiana law, an elected official can be forced from office if convicted of a felony. Campbell was arrested last spring after an Indiana State Police investigation alleged he and city sanitation supervisor Terry Danner had tampered with absentee ballots before the May 2011 Democratic mayoral primary. Danner received pre-trial diversion Tuesday, allowing his prosecution on three felony voter fraud charges to be withheld if he completes 100 hours of community service in six months. Four voters said Campbell and Danner drove to their homes and picked up their ballots for mailing, according to court records. One woman said in a sworn affidavit that the mayor had filled in her incomplete ballot before taking it for her.
Paying out-of-state tuition could cost students something more under legislation that will be debated today: their vote. Under House Bill 1311, students who pay out-of-state tuition would not be able to vote in Indiana. Rep. Peggy Mayfield, the Martinsville Republican who filed the bill, said she’s trying to resolve who is an Indiana resident. “We’re having people who are not necessarily residents voting in our elections,” she said. But legal experts, as well as lawmakers in both parties whose districts include some of Indiana’s public universities, say there’s a big problem with the bill before the House Elections and Apportionment Committee: It’s unconstitutional. “I hope that’s a quick hearing,” said Lee Rowland, counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, which monitors voting rights issues. “Because, frankly, conditioning voting rights on a 12-month residency is so clearly unconstitutional that it would be an utter waste of the legislature’s time to consider such a bill.”