Indiana Secretary Of State Goes On Trial For Voter Fraud

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (R)

In states across the country, conservative lawmakers have made attempts to restrict voting rights through voter identification laws, limits on same-day registration, and other methods. These laws are frequently justified as necessary to fight voter fraud — despite the fact that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud. With efforts to pass such laws failing in some states and getting blocked by the federal government in others, one official has apparently decided to prove that voter fraud exists by allegedly going out and committing it himself.

A trial began in Indiana today for former Secretary of State Charlie White (R), who, as secretary of state, is supposed to oversee the state’s elections and ensure their integrity. Instead, White allegedly committed several acts of voter fraud, leading the state to charge with him with seven felonies, Fox News reports:

White was indicted in March, accused of fraud, perjury, theft, voting in the wrong precinct, submitting a false voter registration change of address and casting a “false, fictitious or fraudulent ballot.”

“Charlie White registered to vote at a place he didn’t live. That was in contravention of the law,” said Karen Celestino-Horseman, a lawyer for the Indiana State Democratic Party, which brought the allegations against White at the Indiana Recount Commission. “It was not his residence.”

According to the state, White allegedly was registered and voted in the wrong district while falsely claiming his ex-wife’s residence as his own, and served on the city council while representing a district in which he did not live. White has maintained his innocence on all charges.

White’s voter fraud likely wouldn’t have been prevented by the state’s voter ID law, and his trial could soon be followed by another in New Hampshire, where activists working for conservative videographer James O’Keefe may have knowingly committed voter fraud, potentially in violation of state law, while attempting to prove how easy it was to obtain a ballot with a false name. Multiple state officials have called on authorities to “arrest and prosecute” the activists.