Thursday, March 15, 2012

Supreme Court rules White challenge untimely

In a 4-1 ruling on this point, the Indiana Supreme Court has issued an opinion today that the Democratic Party's challenge filed after the November 2010 election for Secretary of State was untimely.  This reverses a decision by the Marion County Circuit Court.  The opinion of the Supreme Court is here.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court's decision did not decide the validity of White's voter registration, but decided the case in a way that leaves White's criminal conviction and pending appeal unaffected.   Unless the 6 felony convictions are overturned, White is still out of the Secretary of State's office.  All this decision today does is to keep Vop Osili out of that office. 

In a separate opinion, Justice Dickson disagreed with the majority and felt that the Democratic Party's challenge was in fact timely under the election law.  However, he also felt that the requirement of being a registered voter, legally or illegally, was a violation of the Indiana Constitution, which does not contain such a requirement for the office of Secretary of State. 

The oddest thing about this decision  is that it would require background investigations and challenges at a much earlier time frame, perhaps earlier than is reasonable.  In the case of White, it would have required an investigation months before I actually knew anything about White's shell game with his residence and voter registration.  In other words, we were required to act before we actually knew anything. 

But this all could have been avoided IF THE VOTERS HAD PAID ATTENTION.  A few did, but not many.  Too many voted for the party, and not the man, as I have previously written.   Voters all too often do not pay attention until very late in the process.  Our democracy suffers because of this.