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Associated Press photos
In this Nov. 4, 2004, file photo, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., is joined by his wife Susan in thanking supporters.

White puts Bayh in the crosshairs

Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White listens to a question at the Indiana Recount Commission hearing in Indianapolis on June 21, 2011.

Embattled Secretary of State Charlie White on Tuesday sent a complaint to the Marion County Prosecutor accusing former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh of voter fraud.

It is the same criminal charge White is facing for voting from his ex-wife's address in the 2010 primary election rather than a condo he purchased. A grand jury indicted White on seven felony counts. If convicted, he must resign from his office.

The Indiana Democratic Party also has pushed a civil petition to have White removed from office, alleging he was not properly registered to vote in 2010 - making him ineligible to be a candidate for a state post.

White said in the 5-page complaint he filed that Evan and Susan Bayh, who own a condo in Indianapolis, shouldn't have voted absentee in Indiana's primary election this year because their permanent residence is a multimillion-dollar home in Washington, D.C.

Bayh also no longer represents Indiana in an official capacity.

In addition, White said the Bayhs committed fraud because they took a homestead deduction on their Indianapolis condo when it wasn't their primary residence.

"I take no joy in filing this complaint," White said in a written statement Tuesday, "but the Democrats have opened themselves up for this and many future filings against others who show their blatant disregard for voting and homestead deduction laws."

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said Bayh has never abandoned Indiana as his permanent home and that's why he still votes here. Parker said Bayh's driver's license is still from Indiana and he claimed no homestead deduction on his D.C. property.

He said Bayh and his wife plan to return to Indiana after his twin sons graduate from high school.

"This complaint borders on ridiculous," Parker said of White. "He is so desperate to defend himself that he's going to defame others. He's gone from a laughingstock to being completely reckless."

To contact Niki Kelly, email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.