Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s 2013 Legislative Victories
INDIANAPOLIS (May 1, 2013) – Secretary of State Connie Lawson is pleased to announce the most sweeping election integrity reforms since photo ID, stronger safeguards for Hoosier investors and protection for law enforcement, civic leaders and citizens from damaging harassment filings. Secretary Lawson commends the Indiana General Assembly for working diligently and supporting her legislative agenda.
As Indiana’s Chief Elections Official, Secretary Lawson developed legislation to increase the security and the integrity of our state’s elections. Her initiatives include residency clarifications, county clerk-recommended reforms to streamline election administration, increased security for voter registration records and mandatory voter list maintenance.
“Just last week, a jury found the former chair of the St. Joe County Democrat party guilty of forging signatures during the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. This week, Mike Marshall of Jennings County will be sentenced for vote fraud. These events underscore the importance of our election reform initiatives,” said Secretary Lawson.
ü Clarifying residency requirements for voters, candidates and election officials.
ü Indiana will now compare our voter registration records with 22 others states to identify voters registered in more than one state or who voted more than once in the same election.
ü A state-led, statewide mailing to clean up voter rolls by identifying inactive voters and to identify voter registration records with incorrect information.
ü Responding to county clerk’s request to end the logjam that occurs because the last day of voter registration is the first day of early in-person voting.
ü Adds a criminal penalty for election violations such as signing another person’s name to a nomination petition.
ü Permits any county to use an electronic poll book.
ü Creates the nation’s first comprehensive standards for electronic poll books.
“I want to thank authors Senator Sue Landske and Representatives Kathy Richardson and Peggy Mayfield, and sponsors Senator Patricia Miller and Representative Milo Smith for their leadership in advancing this integrity and security agenda,” Secretary Lawson said.
Protecting Hoosiers from a Tim Durham-like Scheme
Hoosier investors are now protected from future schemes similar to those convicted felon Tim Durham used to swindle Ohio investors. The securities offered and sold by Tim Durham and Fair Financial were securities that could be offered with no requirement that Durham submit independently audited financial statements. This loophole allowed Durham to use doctored financial statements to swindle his victims.
To enhance the office’s ongoing effort to protect Hoosier investors, House Enrolled Act 1179 will require independently audited financials for intrastate offerings registered by qualification. This will provide investors with a more complete picture of the offerings so they can make more informed investment decisions.
“Over the past two years, Hoosiers have watched the Tim Durham case unfold involving over 4,000 Ohio investors and wondered if it could happen here,” said Secretary Lawson. “Now, Indiana protects Hoosiers from thieves like Durham.”
ü Increased penalties for repeat offenders.
ü Protecting Hoosiers from “Durham-like” fraud through greater audit transparency.
“I want to thank author Representative Bob Heaton, co-authors Representatives Christina Hale, Dale Devon and Justin Moed, sponsor Senator Jim Smith, and cosponsors Senators Mark Stoops and Doug Eckarty,” said Secretary Lawson.
Protection from Domestic Terrorists
Domestic terrorists who refer to themselves as sovereign citizens believe the government is illegitimate and have targeted law enforcement officers, judges, mayors and other civic leaders to harass. Sovereign citizens have been filing fraudulent Uniform Commercial Code financing statements against civic leaders for millions of dollars. They have also used Secretary of State documents to swindle Hoosiers with fraudulent real estate transactions. Sovereign citizens have taken advantage of the law that required the Secretary of State’s office to file liens using these two popular schemes. House Enrolled Act 1054 provides additional protection from these schemes.
“All Hoosiers, including our elected and appointed leaders and our sworn law enforcement officers, deserve to be free of this harassment and fraud,” said Secretary Lawson. “Giving my staff the ability to prevent the filing of these deceitful documents will protect those in law enforcement from the harassment of criminals and will protect potential homebuyers from falling prey to vacant home sale schemes.”
ü Protects law enforcement, civic leaders and judges from unnecessary harassment filings and speeds up the process to have the filing nullified.
ü Protects Hoosiers from fraudulent documents.
“I want to thank author Representative Greg Steuerwald, co-authors Representatives B. Pat Bauer and Eric Koch, and sponsors Senators Tim Lanane and Tom Wyss,” said Secretary Lawson.