Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is calling voter-fraud allegations against him and his wife, Susan, “baseless.” But whether the allegations, made in a criminal complaint filed by Secretary of State Charlie White on Tuesday, will lead to charges is difficult to say.
The law is open to interpretation, according to one legal expert. “(It depends) on how rigidly or flexibly you follow the law,” said Dianne Pinderhughes, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame.
The Marion County prosecutor’s office is reviewing White’s complaint, which alleges that the Bayhs shouldn’t have voted absentee in the Indianapolis municipal primary in May. They own a condo in Indianapolis, but their main residence is a multimillion-dollar home in Washington, D.C., White contended.
White also accused them of fraud because they claimed a homestead exemption on the condo, even though he says it’s not their primary residence. “Mr. White’s assertions are baseless,” Evan Bayh said in an email sent by his assistant Wednesday. Bayh, a Democrat, represented Indiana in the Senate.
White, a Republican, filed his complaint against Bayh to prove his contention that he’s being selectively prosecuted in Hamilton County. In March, a grand jury indicted White on seven felony charges, including voter fraud, for using his ex-wife’s address to vote in the May 2010 primary. White’s trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 30 in Hamilton Superior Court. If he’s convicted of any of the felony charges, he will lose his elected position.