Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach Files to Prosecute 3 Voter Fraud Cases
Kris Kobach persuaded the Legislature to grant him prosecutorial power during this past legislative session, making him the only secretary of state in the nation to have such authority. Bryan Lowry The Wichita Eagle

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach Files to Prosecute 3 Voter Fraud Cases

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has filed three voter fraud cases he plans to prosecute, his office confirmed Tuesday.

Kobach filed two cases in Johnson County and one in Sherman County on Friday, said Craig McCullah, the public information officer for the Secretary of State’s Office.

The defendants in the Johnson County cases are Steven Gaedtke, 60, and Betty Gaedtke, 61, according to electronic court records. Each faces misdemeanor charges of “unlawful voting” and “advance voting unlawful act.”

Their cases are before Judge Charles Droege and Judge Thomas Sutherland respectively.

The Sherman County case is a felony case against Lincoln L. Wilson, the office said.

Kobach persuaded the Legislature to grant him prosecutorial power during this past legislative session, making him the only secretary of state in the nation to have such authority.

Kobach’s critics say he exaggerates the threat of voter fraud. They contend that discretion over these cases is better left to local prosecutors. Kobach could not be reached for comment immediately on Tuesday morning.

During the initial push for the legislation, Kobach presented to the Legislature 18 alleged cases of double voting — in which a person votes in more than one jurisdiction — that he said occurred during the 2010 and 2012 elections.

The two 2010 cases from Johnson County listed in the documents Kobach presented involved allegations of double voting in Kansas and Arkansas that the county declined to prosecute.

The case from Sherman County involves an allegation of double voting in Kansas and Colorado. It was referred to the FBI, but no action was taken, according to Kobach’s March testimony.

Kobach had also hinted that he might pursue a prosecution in Sedgwick County. No case has been filed there.

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