I’ll admit it. Election Law is not my strong suit. Title 3 of the Indiana Code gives me a headache. But, there is a very significant difference between me and Charlie White. He’s running for Secretary of State, and I’m not. As Eric Bradner reports (and a ton of others) for the Evansville Courier Press, White has been violating residency requirements for his current position as a town councilman for Fishers, Indiana. White does not live in the district he represents.
Advance Indiana also makes the point that White is a Republican county chairman and an attorney. If it’s anyone’s job to know the residency requirements necessary to serve in office, it’s White’s. His defense is that “he didn’t know” his residence was outside of his council district.
This matter makes it difficult to believe that, as Secretary of State, White would make an effort to know the laws he is supposed to enforce and, if he did know them, to faithfully enforce those laws.
“If these charges are true, this is not only alarming and troubling, but it also raises questions to as whether this individual should be given the public’s trust to oversee elections and the voting process.
As our state’s Chief Administrator of Elections, the Secretary of State should set the standards for integrity, and fairness with regard to voting and the election process, and of course adhere to the letter of the law—not bend or break the rules to suit personal gains.
Update Hoosier Access offers a weak defense:
[U]nless you’re a diehard political junkie such as myself the last thing on your mind when you buy a house or rent an apartment is which voting precinct it is located.
Again, Charlie White is running to be Secretary of State – recognizing election law violations and enforcing them is one of the primary jobs of that office. In addition, he is a county political party chairman and an attorney. Also, White was “too busy” for such niceties.
Other offices and other factual scenarios might make this residency violation incidental, but for this race, it seems like a pretty central issue.