The Indiana Recount Commission ruled 3-0 Tuesday that Secretary of State Charlie White will keep his statewide office despite confusion over his voting address last year.
The partisan panel – two Republicans and one Democrat – specifically found that White was legally registered to vote when he ran for office and won last year – something the Indiana Democratic Party contested.
Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said White was an eligible candidate and was properly registered at his ex-wife’s home because he intended to live there with his son until his marriage in late May 2010. The finding puts an end to the civil complaint unless the Democrats decide to appeal.
But White still faces seven felony counts including voter fraud for allegedly voting in the wrong precinct. If convicted of a felony, he must resign and the governor would appoint a successor.
The criminal trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 8.
Wheeler admonished White for getting himself into the situation.
“Mr. White, you were very close to the line. I think you were treading on the line,” he said. “As a candidate for Secretary of State it behooves you to understand those election laws and not tread on the edge.”
But he also noted the facts were known to the voters and they chose to elect White by a “whopping majority.”