Randall Kilian simply wanted to keep pot away from his retirement home. Kilian, who lived most of his life in Kansas, purchased a second home in Douglas County, Colo., for when he decided to retire from his work in geology. In 2012, when Colorado proposed Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana, Kilian wanted to take a stand. When he received his ballot, he voted against Amendment 64, but he didn’t vote for any elected officials or other issues. Kilian’s stance on marijuana in Colorado has thrust him into the national spotlight. Because he had also voted in Kansas that year, he was flagged for voter fraud by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office. Kilian was unaware he had committed a crime. “I’ve been through a lot,” Kilian said. “I hate that I’ve been through this. Like I said, I’ve got a squeaky-clean record. Not so much as a parking ticket. And, you know, I hate to have my name slandered all over the state and nation because of it.” The Ellis County, Kan., sheriff and county attorney questioned Kilian in 2012 and agreed he hadn’t intentionally broken the law. They decided not to charge him. But in 2013, the Legislature passed a law that transferred the power to prosecute voter fraud from county attorneys’ offices to the secretary of state. In January 2013, Kilian was notified that he was being indicted for voter fraud by the state.
“Kobach never called to ask my side of the story. And therefore, you know, I’m the poster boy,” Kilian said. “And you know my name is spread all over the country for voter fraud. Yes, I did. I did (vote) in Kansas and Colorado. Kris Kobach saw that this was something that could enhance his resume and used that. I mean, he was correct. I’ve done what I’m charged with, but it’s not what it seems like.”
Kilian pleaded no contest in April 2016 and received the maximum fine of $2,500.
“Had it not cost me so much,” Kilian said, “and the attorney’s fees wouldn’t have been so much, you know, I would have fought this thing. Because like I said, I think if people were to hear my story, I think they would have said, ‘My gosh what is this really all about? Why are we doing this?’ Well, it was his agenda so he can keep a campaign promise.”