U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins was charged with four counts of voter fraud, the Shawnee County district attorney announced Tuesday.
Watkins, a Republican representing Kansas' 2nd district, was charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor related to the 2019 local election, said Michael Kagay, the county's district attorney.
Watkins registered a Topeka UPS store as his address during the 2019 municipal election. He allegedly voted in the wrong city council district, as reported by The Topeka Capital-Journal.
The felony charges are as follows — interference with local law enforcement, providing false information; voting without being qualified and unlawful advance voting. Watkins also faces a misdemeanor charge for failing to notify the DMV of a change of address.
The investigation was handled by the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office. It was delayed heavily due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Kagay said.
The charges were announced roughly 45 minutes before Watkins appeared in a congressional debate on KSNT, with fellow Republican candidates Dennis Taylor and Jake LaTurner.
The Topeka Republican called the charges "clearly hyper political," at the beginning of the debate.
"I haven't done anything wrong," Watkins said. "As soon as I realized I put my mailing address instead of my physical address, we fixed it."
Watkins said he hasn't seen the charges, and he "looks forward to setting the record straight."
LaTurner, one of Watkins' challengers, told the KSNT moderators, "It's safe to say this is now a two-person race."