Download the decision here.
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White was eligible to run for office, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled this morning. The state’s highest court issued a unanimous decision this morning saying that even though White was registered to vote at his ex-wife’s house when he ran for office, he could still be a candidate. The court’s decision will allow Gov. Mitch Daniels to appoint a permanent successor for White, who was removed from office last month after being convicted of six felony charges, including voter fraud. Daniels will not appoint someone today, his spokeswoman, Jane Jankowski, said. Daniels issued a statement this morning, thanking the Supreme Court for ruling on the matter quickly. “Now that the duty to select a new Secretary of State is certain, we’ll do so with promptness,” Daniels said in the statement.
Daniels said Monday that he has someone “really good” in mind. White’s former chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, is serving as his interim replacement.
In its decision, the Supreme Court, which has never overturned an election because of a challenge like this, said it was hesitant to go against the will of the voters. “It is likely that the average voter was aware that there were concerns about White‘s voter registration history at the time of the election,” according to the opinion, “but we will not, on the basis of the present petition, judicially disenfranchise voters who went to the polls aware of what were at that moment only allegations.”