Thursday, September 30, 2010

Charlie White's Whitewash Effort Defies Logic

Editor's note: This is a special report written by Erin Rosenberg the Indianapolis Times. Read here or go there and actually see the poll book evidence referred to below, but READ it! All their feigned outrage at voting fraud, and now it's no big deal?!? There is NO WAY Charlie White didn't know he was no longer in his council district, and this evidence shows conclusively that he intentionally violated the laws he would uphold if he becomes Secretary of State.

. . .

By now, most people have heard about the voter fraud allegations being leveled against Charlie White, the embattled Republican candidate for secretary of state.

State and local Democratic Party leaders are calling for a criminal investigation into the possible wrongdoing, but Republican leaders are claiming that the call for an investigation is just noise about nothing more than a clerical requirement of an “affidavit” that White didn’t complete when he voted in his old precinct. So, who’s right?

Here it is in a nutshell: First, I remind everyone that by White's own admission, he did not reside at the Broad Leaf house when he voted in the May Primary, and that, by its definition is voter fraud. White says he “forgot” and made a “mistake”, but was still entitled to use the Fail Safe voting provision even though he didn’t follow the law in using it. This is completely wrong. White knew perfectly well how to use the Fail Safe provision to vote in his old precinct and the 2009 voter poll book proves it. Mr. White cannot claim he did not know the proper procedures for using the Fail Safe voting procedure in May 2010 because he JUST USED it in November 2009.

In addition, absent the required Fail Safe provision affirmation in May 2010 for voting one time at a former precinct, White appears to have been set to vote for a second time illegally at the same former polling site in the 2010 November election. And, he could have done it precisely because there was no affirmation in the Primary election.

White’s actions show that he knows the laws and how to abide by them, but chose not to when they suited his ambitions and personal desires. Mr. White must suspend his campaign and a special prosecutor must be appointed to conduct a real investigation of these allegations.

THE FACTS

On November 2009 Election day, White walked into Delaware Precinct 14, his no longer valid polling location and was rightfully permitted to vote because he made an oral affirmation of his actual current address which was then written (reduced) in the poll book. That is to say, in November 2009, White voted where he was currently registered (where his apartment was in Delaware Precinct 14), but not where he currently lived (as recorded in the 2009 poll book as his ex-wife’s address in Delaware Precinct 12 which is a different precinct). From this affirmation of his claimed current address, a formal change of registration form was mailed to him in November of 2009. He completed and mailed back a voter registration form in early 2010. This new registration officially changed his registration to his ex-wife’s address in Delaware Precinct 12.

In March of 2010, White purchased and moved across town into a condo with his new wife. White again did not update his voter registration when he moved. In May, he returned to the precinct of his ex-wife in Delaware Precinct 12 where he was still registered, but no longer lived, and voted. This time, he didn’t tell anyone that he no longer lived there and didn’t complete an oral or written affirmation. His current address was not notated in the poll book as it was in 2009. Presumably, if he had informed the poll workers of his change of address, then at the very least, his affirmation of the new address would have been notated in the poll book as it was in 2009.

White did not update his voter registration until last week when he was informed that Greg Purvis was going to hold a press conference the next day revealing these facts. Voter registration ends next week for the General Election. These facts are not disputed by anyone.

THE LAWS AT ISSUE

According to Indiana law and found on the Secretary of State’s website, you are an eligible voter if:

▪ You are both a U.S. citizen and a resident of Indiana; and
▪ You will be at least 18 years of age on or before the next General or Municipal Election, and
▪ You are not currently in prison after being convicted of a crime; and
▪ You have lived in the precinct where you vote for at least 30 days prior to the election; and
▪ You are registered to vote.

Obviously, White was not an eligible voter since he did not live for 30 days prior to the Primary Election in Delaware Precinct 12, the precinct in which he voted in May 2010.

Indiana has two provisions, IC 3-10-11-2 and IC 3-10-12-3.4, commonly referred to as Indiana’s “Fail Safe” provisions, that allow, in specific circumstances, for a person who is not properly registered to vote in their former precinct.

IC 3-10-11-2 applies to a voter who satisfies all of the following:
(1) The person resided in a precinct in Indiana.
(2) The person currently resides in Indiana.
(3) The person lost residency in the precinct of the person's former residence not more than 30 days immediately before the election.
(4) The person was a qualified and registered voter of the precinct of the person's former residence.
(5) The person is otherwise legally qualified to vote.
(6) The person is not registered in the precinct of the person's present residence.
(7) The person requests a transfer of the person's registration (by filling out a VRG4/12 form, which is a request to transfer voter registration).

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Murray Clark has acknowledged that I.C. 3-10-11-2 is not the provision under which White voted in May 2010 and Clark is correct. White moved in 2010 more than 30 days before the election, so this provision does not apply to him. In 2009, it isn’t known on which date White moved into his wife’s home. It is known that he did not fill out a VRG4/12 form, but he did make an oral affirmation that was recorded in the poll book by a poll worker. So, he wasn’t invoking this particular provision then, either.

Clark has publicly stated that White was entitled to vote in Delaware Precinct 12, the precinct serving White's ex-wife's address, pursuant to the second Fail Safe provision, Indiana Code 3-10-12-3.4 which permits a person:
(1) Who moves within the same county and same congressional district and
(2) Did not update their voter registration,
To return one (AND ONLY ONE) last time to vote in their precinct of former residence provided that:
(1) The voter make an oral or
(2) Written affirmation to the poll clerk as to the voter's current residence address.
a. If a voter makes an oral affirmation, the poll clerk must reduce the oral affirmation into writing on the poll book and initial the affirmation.

This Fail Safe provision does not require a VRG4/12 form. It does not require an affidavit at all. It requires an affirmation. And, you can only use it once.

Note: There is a great deal of confusion about what this affirmation does. It does NOT actually change a person’s voter registration. White made an oral affirmation. He did not give anything written that actually changed his address. All that this does is allow a person to vote in their former precinct provided that they affirm their current address. It does not mean that White was automatically registered to his wife’s address in 2009. He still had to actually change his registration, which he did. But, in November 2009, White affirmed by virtue of writing his current address in the poll book that he was using this Fail Safe provision to vote in his former precinct.

To make this clear, the Title of this Fail Safe Provision is:

IC 3-10-12
Chapter 12. Special Procedures for Certain Indiana Voters to Vote in Precinct of Former Residence Under NVRA

This provision is the one that White used in November 2009 (I am sure White doesn’t want to claim that he illegally voted in 2009 by using 3-10-11-2 and not completing the VRG as mandated by law). It is also the provision he is now claiming to have used in the 2010 Primary, except acknowledging he did not do the affirmation (reminder: as he just did in November 2009).

CHARLIE WHITE’S DEFENSE

In responding to Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker’s voter fraud charges, Murray Clark, the State Republican Party Chairman, issued a statement stating:

"Charlie was entitled under law to vote one last time at his old polling location. He satisfied all the criteria to go back his old poll, his precinct, and vote. What wasn't done was the formality of the affidavit, which in retrospect we wouldn't be having this discussion if it had been done."

Now, to be fair, I am going to assume that Chairman Clark said this based on information received from the Charlie White campaign. So, for all intents and purposes, this is White’s explanation and justification for his actions. I suspect White has been less than upfront about all of the facts at issue here and Chairman Clark is simply doing his job- a job that he does quite well. Indeed, I have to wonder if White told Chairman Clark that he had used the Fail Safe provision correctly and actually made an oral affirmation in 2009 before asking him to make this statement.

So, what ‘affidavit’ is Charlie White referring to that he “forgot” to fill out? The VRG4/12? White didn’t have to complete that under IC 3-10-12-3.4. It seems White means the affirmation. Remember, a voter can do a written affirmation in the form of an affidavit (which includes the option, but does not require, completing the VRG12/4) or an oral affirmation, which the poll clerk must reduce into writing on the poll book.

WHY THE AFFIRMATION MATTERS

So what? What is the big deal that he didn’t do an affirmation in 2010 (as he did in 2009)? Besides the fact that it is legally required to do to take advantage of the Fail Safe provision, of course!

Indiana’s Fail Safe provision is written as it is to balance two important interests: ensuring the integrity of the vote by preventing people from voting in precincts where they are not eligible and do not reside balanced by the recognition that sometimes people forget to cross all their Ts and dot all the Is when it comes to updating one’s voter registration.

Basically, the law allows people one mulligan when it comes voting legally. BUT JUST ONE. That is the balance. If the law allowed people to vote at precincts where they didn’t live as many times as they wanted, there would be rampant voter fraud as ineligible people could vote where they didn’t reside every election, even though that is against the law and the whole point of the overall voter eligibility statute. That doesn’t make any sense.

So, how do we ensure that people don’t abuse the Fail Safe provision and vote repeatedly at a precinct they are no longer eligible to vote at? Aha! By requiring that if you vote outside of the precinct where you live, it MUST be recorded by written or oral affirmation so you can’t return and vote a second time. How else would anyone know that the person had used his or her one Fail Safe vote if it isn’t recorded? They wouldn’t.

Indeed, White’s actions prove this very point. Until being caught by Greg Purvis, no one knew White was claiming his 2010 Primary vote as a Fail Safe vote. No one knew because it wasn’t recorded anywhere. Why did Charlie White not want anyone to know?

As already mentioned, White didn’t update his voter registration after he voted in the wrong precinct in May. Not in June. Not in July. Not in August. Not until LAST WEEK when he was forced to by Purvis. Indeed, if Purvis had not had his press conference when he did, by White’s own admission that he just plumb forgot gosh darn it, he would not have properly registered for the 2010 November Election.

What would he have done? Where would White have voted in November if he hadn’t been “notified of his mistake” right before voter registration ended? We can all guess the answer to this. Do you think he would have NOT voted in the General or would he have voted where he was registered (his ex-wife’s address and not where he had been living since March), where he voted already once in May while not residing there, and, would have done a written or oral affirmation at the polls because he missed the voter registration deadline. Why would this be a problem? Because he would be voting for the SECOND TIME at the same precinct he voted at in May- even though he had already used the Fail Safe provision. You know what? No one would have been the wiser. No one would have known. Do you know why? Because if it is not written down, it never happened. No one would know precisely because he did not do an affirmation in the Primary. There would have been ZERO record of him using the Fail Safe provision, even though he just used it in May!

As to why White would want to his registered address to be at his ex-wife’s home until November 2010, I will simply say that White could only continue receiving his town council pay and legally serve on the council up until he moved out of his council district. This part of the analysis, the why, has been thoroughly examined elsewhere, but I think it is pretty obvious to anyone looking at White’s situation.

Why he was doing it, however, doesn’t change the fact that by not doing the required affirmation, White appears to have tried to hide the fact that he had already used the one time only Fail Safe provision in May and could not use it for a second time in November.

CONCLUSION

Do not let White and his supporters confuse you about what happened here, folks. This is easy to figure out. The affirmation (not affidavit) requirement, contrary to White’s claim, is not just a formality; it is the crucial, most necessary part of the entire provision.

The affirmation requirement is what provides the protections from voter fraud, prevents the provision from being misused. It is the ONLY thing that makes the ONE TIME part of the provision enforceable.

Charlie White knows this (remember, he just did it in 2009...). Anyone who is serious about the integrity of the vote in Indiana should be able to figure this out. The republicans who continue to defend White and, clearly, White himself are trying to divert attention from the clear facts so no one will notice what White actually did and seems to have been trying to do.

Apparently, they, and White, fall on the side of lax laws and legal interpretations that allow for rampant abuse and …voter fraud. Is this what you want for your next Secretary of State? Hoosier voters should demand that our voter laws- in their ENTIRETY- be taken seriously and enforced equally for all Hoosiers in all corners of this great state.

Greg Purvis has asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate these facts. White is the Hamilton County Republican Chairman and the Hamilton County Prosecutor, Sonia Leerkamp, is also a Republican. I do not want to imply that Ms. Leerkamp is not capable of doing a fair and impartial investigation. I have no reason to doubt her on this. However, given the perception issues, I believe an impartial prosecutor should be brought in to investigate.

Demand a special prosecutor be appointed. Demand White suspend his campaign and address these charges.


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2 comments:

FishersDemo said...

I cross-posted this on my blog, http://hamiltoncopolitics.blogspot.com/, where I have my own entry on this and other issues. Thanks.

Greg Purvis

Bob said...

Have you read Paul Ogden's analysis on the effect this will have on the November general election?

Do you agree with him that it looks bad, but Charlie White will still win the election?