Secretary of State Charlie White got to keep his job because state law required the Indiana Recount Commission to consider White’s “intent” in determining where he resided.
In a 3-0 decision last week, the commission ruled based on White’s testimony, and despite legal documents suggesting otherwise, White intended to reside at his ex-wife’s home until moving into a condominium once he married his fiancée. That decision meant White, a Republican, was eligible to run for office and can keep his job as the state’s chief elections officer because he was properly registered to vote.
But White, members of the Recount Commission and the Indiana Democratic Party, which challenged White’s eligibility, all believe Indiana election law needs to be changed to better account for nontraditional families and unusual living situations.
“We have a lot of statutes that do not reflect how our society is today,” White said. “I think there’s a lot of room for some legislative change and I hope they consider that.”
Bernard Pylitt, the sole Democrat on the Recount Commission, wants lawmakers to not just come up with better residency standards for candidates, but to ensure candidates are required to be legally registered to vote.
Currently, a candidate does not have to be “legally” registered to vote, just registered. Which means even if White did not prevail on the Democrats’ challenge to his residency, he may still have been able to stay in office because he was registered, though illegally, because he was not registered at the address where he lived.
Full Article: White ruling prompts calls for election law reform.