The Indiana Senate has approved a measure that would allow Republican Governor Mitch Daniels to appoint a new secretary of state if current officeholder Charlie White is found to be ineligible. Democrats are calling it a blatant power grab.
White, a Republican, is under indictment on voter fraud charges. Democrats are now challenging his eligibility. Current state law requires runner-up Democrat Vop Osili to take office if White is ineligible.
The Senate voted 33-17 today to instead allow the governor to pick a new elections chief if the winner is ineligible. The provision is part of a larger election bill that now goes to the House for consideration.
The move drew a Senate floor protest from Democrat Greg Taylor, who says Republicans are trying to change the rules of the game while its being played.