- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

HAYS, Kan. (AP) - A new state law that gives Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach the power to prosecute election fraud allegations has notched its second conviction.

Randal Kilian, 62, pleaded guilty Thursday in Ellis County District Court to a misdemeanor for illegally voting in both Kansas and Colorado and agreed to pay a $2,500 fine, The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1NFN5ty ) reported. As part of the plea, two companion charges were dropped.

Kilian was registered as a Republican in the western Kansas town of Hays when he voted illegally in two states in 2012. He’s now a Colorado resident.

“The heavy fine of $2,500 shows how seriously we take voter fraud in Kansas,” Kobach said. “Prosecuting these crimes sends the message to Kansas citizens that their vote absolutely matters and will be protected. It also sends the message to others contemplating double voting that in Kansas you will be caught, and the penalty will be severe.”

The first conviction was in December when 60-year-old Steven K. Gaedtke admitted to a misdemeanor and paid a $500 fine.

Gaedtke and his wife, Betty, applied for advance voting ballots in Johnson County for the 2010 general election and submitted them while they were traveling back and forth over several months from Olathe to a home in Arkansas. During that time, they also voted in person in Arkansas.

Charges against Betty Gaedtke were dropped earlier this month because the signature on her allegedly illegal absentee ballot did not match her actual signature, Kansas secretary of state spokesman Chris McCullah said.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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