Political Animal


December 23, 2011 1:50 PM Another GOP official commits election fraud

By Steve Benen

It hasn’t been a good month for the GOP and election fraud. Two weeks ago, a Maryland jury convicted a Republican official who oversaw illegal voter-suppression tactics in the 2010 election. This week, a state judge found that Indiana’s Secretary of State, Republican Charlie White, not only committed voter fraud in 2010, but wasn’t even eligible to seek the office to which he was elected.

Charlie White is ineligible to serve as Secretary of State and should be replaced by his election opponent, Democrat Vop Osili, a Marion County judge ruled today.

White is facing seven felony charges, including allegations of voter fraud. Osili was the second-highest vote-getter in the November 2010 election.

Kay at Balloon Juice added, “Besides the obvious embarrassment of the state official who is in charge of elections being indicted on charges of voter registration fraud, it’s just perfect that this happened in Indiana, because Indiana paved the way for the voter suppression laws we’re seeing all over the country…. Indiana has one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country, and that didn’t stop their top elections official from registering and voting in the wrong place. That’s because voter ID laws target the imaginary problem of voter impersonation fraud, while doing next to nothing to address the fraud that actually occurs.”

Quite right. Republicans nationwide, as part of the “war on voting,” keep putting new hurdles between voters and the ballot box, ostensibly because they fear the scourge of fraud.

The irony is, the deceit Republicans are worried about is imaginary, while the real-world fraud is coming from their side of the political divide.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Burr Deming on December 23, 2011 2:01 PM:

    The point you keep making, Steve, bears repeating. And repeating. We see a trend now toward conservative politicians in office throwing out voters for not adequately representing them.

  • RP on December 23, 2011 2:02 PM:

    GOP officials committed voter/election fraud?

    Yes, but both sides do it!

    How can you overlook the perfidy that ACORN committed when somebody filled out a registration card in the name of "Mickey Mouse" during an ACORN voter registration drive?

  • Mike on December 23, 2011 2:14 PM:

    Having lived in Indiana for the last 20 years, I can say with some confidence that Charlie White is not a felon or a fraud. He IS an idiot, and he did break the rules. At the time of the election, he was living with his girlfriend (whom he was engaged to marry) in one county, but was registered at his old residence (where his ex-wife lived). He blamed a "complicated personal life," but he probably could have gotten an apartment in the county where his old wife lived. Since he was running for SOS, he certainly should have gotten his act together, and he deserves to be removed from office.

  • c u n d gulag on December 23, 2011 2:16 PM:

    I mean, if you wrote a novel, and included Indiana’s Republican Charlie White as the Secretary State in a novel, made him in charge of voter fraud while not even being eligible for the office, your editor would tell you to put down the joint, stop dropping acid, lose the crack-pipe, and have an intervention for you.

    This should be LOL funny, but it's too serious a subject.

  • Danp on December 23, 2011 2:20 PM:

    I can say with some confidence that Charlie White is not a felon or a fraud. He IS an idiot,

    Wouldn't it have been a whole lot shorter to just write IOKIYAR?

  • Jack Lindahl on December 23, 2011 2:34 PM:

    Is this NYSERDA ad the most annoying website ad ever made? Or is it just me?

  • gchopeful on December 23, 2011 4:05 PM:

    So tired of the ACORN argument.
    Those few who added names like Mickey Mouse were being paid BY THE NAME that they registered. And Mickey Mouse never actually showed up at a polling location to vote!
    The fraud was in making up people to register.
    It's not the same thing!!!!

  • Anonymous on December 23, 2011 5:41 PM:

    Thanks for saying what I'm thinking. That the ACORN story is still being believed after conclusive evidence that there was no actual VOTER fraud makes me sad. I guess low information voters don't bother to update and actually find the truth.

  • algernon on December 23, 2011 6:12 PM:

    Mike on December 23, 2011 2:14 PM:, said:
    "He IS an idiot, and he did break the rules."

    Just broke a few rules, is all, eh? Mike, those rules are what everyone else calls 'laws'. And breaking them is a felony. Let me guess, you forgot about that part, right?

    But I do get it. When ACORN received a fraudulent voter registration card for 'Mickey Mouse' it was so threatening and terrible to democracy -- so likely that a guy claiming to be Mickey Mouse would actually be let in to vote -- that people like you insisted on new laws that made it harder for blacks, students, poor folks and people who don't drive to vote. Despite lack of evidence of actual voter fraud by these groups.

    But when a big-shot white Republican commits real voter fraud, it's all "Well shucks now, cut the guy some slack, he just broke a few rules is all".

    The imaginary registration fraud of the wrong kind of people is bad, bad, bad. But the real, actual voting fraud perpetrated by the right kind of people...not so much.

  • Doug on December 23, 2011 6:19 PM:

    That's one less lying Republican we Hoosiers need to vote out of office next year!
    I just wish we had a better nominee for Lugar's Senate seat than Donnelly. He'd help keep the Democrats in the majority, but other than that...

  • Bill Payne on December 23, 2011 8:35 PM:

    This guy got caught, lets not deflect let us lock him up and pass the message to others.

  • Bill Payne on December 23, 2011 8:50 PM:

    It's funny how people talk like ACORN was at fault when Mickey was the liar about his identity as well as false pretense . Truth stands on it's own without any deception.

  • Republican'sLie on December 28, 2011 2:42 PM: