Republican Lawmaker: I Mistakenly Committed Voter Fraud, I Am Not Responsible
Republican Rep. Steven Watkins of Kansas has claimed he mistakenly voted in the wrong district but denied committing a felony, according to TheHill.
- Watkins responded to the felony voter fraud charges against him during an interview with The Kansas City Star, saying, “I wasn’t hiding the ball.” He explained that it was an oversight, saying, “I put my mailing address instead of my physical address on a voter registration and inadvertently received a ballot for the incorrect, I believe, Topeka city council race. Now, that’s a mistake not a felony.”
- Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay has charged Watkins for “interfering with law enforcement, providing false information; voting without being qualified; unlawful advance voting; and failing to notify the DMV of change of address.”
- Watkins has temporarily stepped down from his committee assignments in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Education and Labor Committee, and Veterans’ Affairs Committee after being charged.
- While prosecutors claimed that Watkins told them a congressional staffer put the wrong address on his voter registration, Watkins denied it, saying, “At no point did I lie or try to place blame onto a staffer. Reports to the contrary are fake news.”
- Watkins has called the charges a “politically motivated ‘charade’” in order to support his challenger Jake LaTurner (R-Kan).
Steve Watkins Sr., Watkins’ father, has also faced a Federal Election Commission investigation for illegally directing contributions to his son’s campaign through other donors.