GOP Congressman Charged With 3 Felonies After Allegedly Voting With Fake Address
Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS) was charged with three felonies related to his alleged use of a false address to vote in the state’s general election last year, according to KSNT.
- Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay announced on Tuesday that Watkins was charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor, including 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 investigation, which Kagay took over in April, began in December “after allegations that he listed a Topeka UPS store for his address when voting in the 2019 general election.”
- The Topeka Capital-Journal reported last year:
Shawnee County records show the first-term Republican listed his official residence as 6021 S.W. 29th St. in Topeka, which corresponds to a UPS Store, when he signed a form to change his residency for voter registration purposes in August, signed an application for a mail-in ballot in October and signed a document to complete advance voting for the November election.
- KSNT reported that the investigation was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but said the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office kept in regular contact with his office.
Sheriff Brian Hill said in a statement released Tuesday:
In December of 2019, the Shawnee County Sheriffs Office began an investigation as to whether Congressman Steve Watkins had violated certain voting laws in Shawnee County, Kansas. After an investigation and review of documents and records from several sources, the investigative findings were submitted to the Shawnee County District Attorney for review. The charges filed by the District Attorney are reflective of the factual allegations that were discovered by detectives during the course of this investigation, which was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.
As with all criminal cases, Mr. Watkins is innocent until proven guilty by a court or jury.