Posted 11 months ago on June 4, 2012, 9:41 p.m. EST by ericweiss
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Do you think he's smiling today?
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana's top elections official could lose his job and his freedom after jurors convicted him today of multiple voter fraud-related charges, leaving in flux the fate of one of the state's most powerful positions.
Republican Secretary of State Charlie White has held on to his office for more than a year despite being accused of felonies including lying about his address on voter registration forms.
A Hamilton County jury found White guilty of six of seven felony charges, including false registration, voting in another precinct, submitting a false ballot, theft and two counts of perjury.
It wasn't immediately clear what would happen to White's elected office. He has resisted calls to resign from Democrats and Republicans, including Gov. Mitch Daniels, but state law bars anyone convicted of a felony from remaining in office.
White's attorney, Carl Brizzi, said he will ask the judge to reduce the charges to misdemeanors because his client has no criminal background and has a long record of public service.
Daniels announced Saturday he had appointed White's chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state.
"I have chosen not to make a permanent appointment today out of respect for the judge's authority to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor and reinstate the elected office holder," Daniels said in a statement. "If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly."
The jury verdict came after a weeklong trial in which White, who had vigorously protested the charges in hearings before a state elections panel, presented no defense.