The day after being convicted of multiple voter fraud charges on Saturday, Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White called the verdict a miscarriage of justice and accused Gov. Mitch Daniels of the same crime.
A Hamilton County jury found White, the state's top elections official, guilty of six felony charges: two counts of perjury, one count of false registration, once count of voting in another precinct, one count of submitting a false ballot and one count of theft. White was acquitted of one fraud charge.
Prosecutors alleged that White, a Republican, illegally registered to vote at his former wife's address instead of the address of a condominium he shared with his fiancée because he did not want to give up a $1,000 per month salary he received from the Fishers Town Council after he moved out of that district.
The verdict came after a weeklong trial in which White, who has objected to the charges in a hearing before the state elections panel and in interviews with the media, reportedly presented no defense. He has vowed to appeal the decision, which could ultimately end up before the state Supreme Court.
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, White continued to protest the charges, saying the prosecutor ignored a complicated home situation. He claimed he spent four nights a week at his ex-wife's house so he could keep contact with their 10-year-old son, while his fiancée lived in the condominium.
I bought a place for [his fiancée] and her kids to live in, but we agreed not to live together until we got married because I was a former family law attorney. I knew how hard it can be when you are blending in three children, from two different marriages, and now I suppose the Indiana election law trumps me being able to raise my children and stepchildren the way that we want to, White said.
White: Other Elected Officials Used Disputed Addresses
White alleged he was far from the only elected official to use a disputed address on voter registration forms, telling Fox News that the local media do not report on the issue because if you're rich and famous on either side of the aisle, they're never going to mention it.
He went on to say that Gov. Mitch Daniels, a fellow Republican who was touted as a presidential hopeful before declining to run, has put the address of the governor mansion on his voter registration forms even though it is common knowledge that the mansion is not his main residence.
Mitch Daniels has voted incorrectly in, according to the standards put on by me, the last 10 straight elections, under the constitution of the state of Indiana, White said.
The status of White's elected office remains unclear. On Saturday Daniels announced he appointed White's chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state. Under Indiana law, individuals convicted of felony charges cannot hold public office.
However, a Marion County judge has ruled that White should be replaced by Democrat Vop Osili, whom he defeated by about 300,000 votes in the 2010 election. The ruling is on hold pending an appeal.
Ironically, White's 2010 campaign Web site listed election integrity as one of his top issues.
Charlie will protect and defend Indiana's Voter ID law to ensure our elections are fair and protect the most basic and precious right and responsibility of our democracy--voting, the site stated.
In 2005, Daniels signed what was deemed the strictest voter ID requirements in the nation. At the time, Republicans said the law -- which required most voters to present a federal or state issued ID -- would guard against voter fraud.