Media Contact: Curtis T. Hill, Jr. (574) 296-1888

The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has received several media inquiries concerning reports of a photograph alleged to have been posted publicly by Sheriff Brad Rogers which shows a purported election ballot marked as a vote for Brad Rogers.

I am unaware of any formal complaint or request for an investigation being made by the Elkhart County Election Board or any other appropriate party alleging wrong doing by Rogers. It is my understanding that a media report has claimed that Rogers’ posting of the photograph is in violation of Indiana election law.

It is not the custom of my office to comment on allegations that have not been made the subject of a formal investigation or criminal proceeding, nor is it my custom to provide advisory opinions on who might get prosecuted and who might not. All matters are reviewed on a case-by-case basis based upon the facts as presented along with the applicable law. I will not deviate from that process now. However, under the circumstances, I believe it is appropriate to advise the community of the standard for review for violations alleged to have occurred under the Indiana election law statute.

Indiana Code §3-14-2 sets forth the election offenses of “Vote Fraud”. Thus, any investigations of a violation under §3-14-2 must be viewed in the context of a fraud that is alleged to have occurred in the voting process. Vote fraud can include any number of activities that are intended to result or result in the corruption of the integrity of an election.

Indiana Code §3-14-2-16 (2) states that a person who knowingly shows a ballot after it is marked to another a person in such a way as to reveal the contents of it or the name of a candidate for whom the person has voted, commits a Level 6 felony. The stated exception is for a person receiving assistance under Indiana Code §3-11-9 which sets forth rules for voters that require assistance due to disabilities or other statutorily approved reasons.

In addition, Indiana Code §3-14-2-18 states that: a voter who knowingly does anything to enable another person to see or know for what ticket, candidates, or public questions the voter has voted; or moves into a position, or does any other thing, to enable the voter to see or know for what ticket, candidates, or public questions any other voter votes, commits a Level 6 felony.

The aforementioned statutes, along with others in the same section when taken in proper context, are intended to address and prevent “vote fraud”. Common sense dictates that any analysis regarding the apparent prohibited conduct under the statutes must relate to an intention to corrupt the voting process.

Therefore, not all conduct prohibited by these statutes will result in criminal charges. By way of example, a literal reading of Indiana Code §3-14-2-18 (1), which provides that a voter who knowingly does anything to enable any other person to know for what ticket or candidates that the voter has voted, could in effect, mean that a person could not tell their spouse for whom they voted without being branded a felon. Most certainly that was not the legislative intent.

Therefore, any review of conduct considered for criminal liability under Indiana Code §3-14-2 must be in the context of a fraud upon the election process.


“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”