Charlie White

The Indiana Election Commission denied a challenge to Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s eligibility in the upcoming election. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Election Commission denied Tuesday a challenge to Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s eligibility in the upcoming election. 

State of Indiana

Former Secretary of State Charlie White is still not eligible to run for state office after a ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

In a unanimous ruling, a three judge panel of the appeals court upheld three of White‘s six felony convictions that led to his ouster as Secretary of State in February 2012 and left in place his sentence of one year of home detention - the sentence had been delayed pending his appeal.

State of Indiana

An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White says Indiana law was misapplied when White was convicted in 2012 of six criminal counts stemming from voter fraud.

White’s appeal included several arguments – the jury wasn’t properly instructed, selective prosecution, his attorney at the time – Carl Brizzi – was ineffective. 

But when pressed by the Appeals Court judges for the strongest argument, White’s current attorney Andrea Ciobanu says it’s misapplication of the law. 

Noah Coffey /

Arguably the most attention the Secretary of State’s office has received in the last four years was for the voter fraud scandal that ousted Charlie White, the Republican who won the seat in 2010.

Former state Senator Connie Lawson, R-Indianapolis, was appointed to the position two and half years ago.

Lawson is seeking re-election this year and says she’s not focused on Charlie White.

“From day one, my focus was to make sure that our office, the Secretary of State’s office was the most open, honest, responsive and accountable in the state,” Lawson says.

IN state senator becomes new secretary of state

Mar 16, 2012

Indiana’s new secretary of state is Connie Lawson. The Republican will leave her position as state senator to take on the new role.

Lawson has served as chair of the senate Local Government and Elections Committee, and as a majority floor leader. Prior to her election to the senate in 1996, Lawson served as Hendricks County Clerk.

She takes over for Charlie White, who was removed from office after being convicted of six felonies related to a fraudulent voter registration.

The following information about Connie Lawson comes from her state senate webpage:

Supreme Court Rules White Eligible

Mar 15, 2012

Indiana’s Governor will be allowed to hand pick the new Secretary of State.

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that former Secretary of State Charlie White was eligible to run for the position even though he listed an improper address on his voter registration form.

Democrats argued runner up in the 2010 election, Vop Osili, be slated as the new Secretary of State.

In December, a Marion County judged ruled that should be the case.

But, Thursday's decision overturned that ruling.

White was convicted of six felony charges related to the issue.

Ex-Secretary of State Charlie White’s permanent successor is closer to being named after the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Wednesday.

White still hopes to reclaim job

Feb 6, 2012


Ousted Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White plans to ask a judge to reduce his six felony convictions to misdemeanors at sentencing.

It’s uncertain whether that move would allow him to reclaim his job.

In the meantime, Governor Mitch Daniels has appointed White’s chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state.

A jury convicted White of three counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury and one count of theft.

He could face six months to three years in prison on each of the counts.

A sentencing date has not been set.


After deliberating for 10 hours, a Hamilton County jury found Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White guilty on six of seven charges.

Those are submitting a false voter registration, perjury, voting in another precinct, casting a false ballot and theft. White was found not guilty of the most serious charge, fraud on a financial institution.

Charlie White trial begins today

Jan 30, 2012

The criminal trial of Indiana's secretary of state is expected to begin today.

Charlie White is accused of voter fraud.

Prosecutors say he knowingly registered to vote at his ex-wife's house, while living somewhere else.

The discrepancy was revealed during White's campaign for office in 2010, and caused him to resign from his seat on the Fishers Town Council and pay back his council salary.

He faces charges of voter fraud, perjury, fraud on a financial institution and theft.