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U.S. Representative from Kansas charged with voter fraud

The charges are related to the 2019 local elections.
Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS)
Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS)(WIBW)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS) faces criminal charges of voter fraud.

Shawnee Co. District Attorney Mike Kagay said Tuesday he filed four counts against Watkins: Interference with Law Enforcement, Providing False Information; Voting without being Qualified; Unlawful Advance Voting; and Failing to Notify the DMV of Change of Address. The first three are felonies, while the last is a misdemeanor.

The charges are related to the 2019 local elections. Watkins used a UPS store address on his registration. At the time, Watkins office said it was an honest mistake - that he used the store as a mailing address for his campaign. He later changed it to an apartment complex off SW Huntoon and Wanamaker, in Topeka, Kansas.

The charges follow an investigation by the Shawnee Co. Sheriff’s Office. Kagay said the allegations came to his attention in December 2019, but the investigation was delayed by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Watkins, a Republican, is in his first term. He faces primary challenges from State Treasurer Jake LaTurner and former state and city official Dennis Taylor.

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