With the recent felony conviction of then-Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (R), the task fell upon Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) to select a replacement for the chief elections officer of his state. Friday, he announced his pick: state Senator Connie Lawson. Lawson, who served in the state senate since 1996 and as clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court for seven years before that, was one of the two original authors of Senate Bill 483. That law, enacted in 2005 and upheld by a divided U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, was among the nation’s first laws mandating strict photo identification requirements for voters. Lawson’s concern about election integrity was also evident in another key vote — in 2010, she voted against the bill that made it legal for alcohol to be sold on election day in Indiana.
Indiana: Gov. Mitch Daniels picks Connie Lawson as new Indiana Secretary of State | Indianapolis Star
Connie Lawson, who has served in the state senate since 1996, is Indiana’s new secretary of state. Gov. Mitch Daniels named her as his pick to replace Charlie White this morning, and she was sworn-in by Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman in a brief ceremony in his Statehouse office. Daniels called Lawson — who has been Senate Republican floor leader, chairwoman of the Senate local government committee, a member of the elections committee and a former Hendricks County clerk — the “obvious” choice to take over as the state’s chief elections official. “I don’t know when I’ve felt so good or confident about a decision as the appointment this morning of Senator Connie Lawson as Indiana’s new secretary of state. I doubt the state has ever been served by someone better prepared for her duties than Connie will be.”
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.
Indiana: Courting controversy – Indiana judges to have a say in range of policy matters | The Journal Gazette
Courts have always played a major role in painting political landscapes, but the importance of the judiciary in determining public policy – and thereby influencing politics – seems particularly intense now. The Indiana Supreme Court recently intervened in no less than three cases, determining they are so important that the public is best served by the…
In a day filled with developments in the Charlie White case, Indiana Democrats threw another punch in the fight for the secretary of state’s office. The Democrats filed a motion Monday asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to enforce a Marion County judge’s ruling that their candidate, Vop Osili, should become secretary of state. White was removed from office early Saturday when a jury convicted him of six felony charges, including voter fraud. A judge on Monday set his sentencing for Feb. 23. Jerry Bonnet, appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to fill in, began his tenure as interim secretary of state Monday. It’s uncertain when the Court of Appeals will rule, but the Democrats’ request adds another wrinkle to the already complicated case of who should become secretary of state.
Indiana: Democrats ask court to enforce ruling making Vop Osili Secretary of State | The Indianapolis Star
The Indiana Democratic Party has asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to enforce a judge’s ruling that would make their candidate Secretary of State. Former Secretary of State Charlie White, a Republican, was removed from office early Saturday morning after a jury convicted him of six felonies. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Jerry Bonnet, White’s chief deputy, as his interim replacement, but Democrats believe Vop Osili is White’s rightful successor, and they filed a motion this afternoon to try to get him in office.
While Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels held off Saturday on appointing a permanent replacement for the state elections chief convicted early that morning of voter fraud, Democrats said they planned to move quickly to wrest control of the politically powerful office from the GOP. A jury from Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, deliberated for 13 hours before convicting Republican Secretary of State Charlie White on six felony charges. Among other things, White was accused of lying about his address on voter registration forms. Indiana law does not allow felons to hold statewide office, and Daniels quickly appointed White’s chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state. But the governor said he was holding off on naming a permanent replacement because a judge could reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, allowing White to regain the office.
Fifteen months have passed since the polls closed in Indiana’s last secretary of state election. But the battle over who should hold the office is far from being finished. There have been political challenges and a lawsuit; a criminal trial and a conviction but still no definitive result. Simply put, it’s “a mess,” said one political expert. Charlie White, the elected officer, was convicted of six felony charges, including voter fraud, early Saturday morning, which removed him from office. But he could be reinstated on a technicality. Meanwhile, Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed White’s chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as to be his interim replacement. Democrats, however, claim they’ve won the office because of a Marion County judge’s ruling that has not yet been enforced.
Calling the jury verdict, “a travesty,” Indiana’s former top elections official vows to appeal the decision that found him guilty of multiple counts of voter fraud, which has resulted in his temporary removal from office. Republican Secretary of State Charlie White was charged with illegally registering to vote at his ex-wife’s house and was convicted on six of seven felony voter related counts in the early hours Saturday morning by a Hamilton County jury in Noblesville, Ind., just north of Indianapolis. “I found out that Indiana is a land of men and not of law,” White said in an exclusive Fox News interview on Sunday in which he contended that the jury was not given the full instructions on the charges by prosecutors. “What I think happened yesterday was a total miscarriage of justice and a perversion. The law allows me to do everything I did and the jury did not get all the law.”
As Gov. Mitch Daniels looks ahead to his last year in office, he said there are some things that he’d rather not remember. In a year-end review, Daniels said Secretary of State Charlie White’s troubles and former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy’s indictment was an embarrassment to him and other Republican leaders, RTV6’s Norman Cox reported.
White is accused of lying about where he lived during the 2010 primary for secretary of state so he could continue collecting his pay from the Fishers Town Council.