Indiana's Republican Governor Mitch Daniels will not be able to appoint a replacement for the recently elected Secretary of State Charlie White, who is currently under indictment for seven felony counts, three of them --- ironically enough for the state's chief election official --- for voter fraud.
On Wednesday, we updated the sad story of White, who is facing both a criminal complaint after being indicted by a grand jury as well as a civil complaint brought by state Democrats. The basis for both cases is tied to evidence that White used his ex-wife's residence for his voter registration and then knowingly voted at the wrong precinct (including for himself in last November's election), all while illegally serving on the Fishers Town Council despite not living in the town of Fishers.
We initially covered the White story last month after the new Secretary of State was indicted, detailing the ever-growing list of top Republicans --- which now includes both GOP superstar Ann Coulter and Utah's former governor and possible 2012 GOP Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman among others --- who are alleged to have committed felony voter fraud and voter registration fraud. The charges against White play out against the irony of the GOP's oft-echoed but ever-unsubstantiated charges of a "Democratic voter fraud" epidemic, claimed as a propaganda tool to support new voter suppression laws at the polling place. Indiana's own polling place Photo ID restrictions, instituted in 2008, are regarded as the most draconian and disenfranchising in the nation --- although they didn't serve to keep White from illegally voting.
In our story earlier this week, we explained that White --- who has refused to resign amidst the scandal --- and the state Republican Party have been doing their best to slow-walk both the criminal and civil cases, in hopes of running out the clock until the state legislature could pass a law allowing Gov. Daniels to appoint a new Sec. of State to replace White. Existing law, the Democrats argue, requires that the top vote-getter legally on the ballot in last November's election be named to the post. In this case, that would be the Democratic nominee Vop Osili.
But it now appears that Republican state legislators have all but given up hope for such a law to be passed in time to save the day, and the judge assigned to the civil case has once again this week denied a request by White to stall the case further...