Man in Kansas voter fraud case says charge surprised him
Wichita ? One of three people charged with voter fraud by the secretary of state in Kansas acknowledged voting in two states where he lives, but said he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
Lincoln L. Wilson, who faces three felony counts, was registered both in Goodland in northwest Kansas’ Sherman County and in Hale, Colorado. Records indicate the 64-year-old Republican voted in both states in the same elections in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Wilson told The Wichita Eagle he lives part time in Sherman County and part time in Yuma County, Colorado, which borders Kansas. He said he owns several real estate properties in each state and believed he was restricted to voting in only one county in each of those states.
“The issues in Kansas that I vote for would’ve been for that general election, such as property tax . and if I voted for a senator or a representative in the state of Kansas, that would have nothing to do with a senator or a representative in the state of Colorado,” Wilson said.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has criminally charged two people in the Kansas City area’s Johnson County and one in Sherman County. They are the first cases under a new state law that gives Kobach the power to prosecute election fraud allegations.
Details of the cases involving 10 criminal charges became public Tuesday. Kobach’s top deputy filed the cases late Friday, and the courts were closed Monday for Columbus Day.
Kobach said his office believes Wilson’s primary residence is in Colorado and accused him of serial double voting.
“It undermines the principle of one man or one vote,” Kobach said. “Regardless of whether a person has property in two jurisdictions or not, the fact that they own property does not entitle them to twice as many votes as the rest of us.”
Wilson said he was shocked to find out he would be prosecuted. He said he has not been served a summons and didn’t know he had officially been charged.
The defendants in the Johnson County case, Betty M. Gaedtke, 61, and Steven K. Gaedtke, 60, each face three misdemeanor charges of unlawful voting and advance voting unlawfully.
The two are accused of voting in both Arkansas and Kansas in 2010. Voting registration show both were registered as Republicans in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe at the time.
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin released a statement saying that he respects “the actions of Secretary Kobach and his efforts at combating voter fraud.”