An Olathe couple charged in a Kansas voter fraud case made a voting mistake during the confusion of a retirement move to Arkansas, their lawyer said Wednesday. “They’re very good people,” said Trey Pettlon. He is representing Steven and Betty Gaedtke in the cases filed against them recently by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Pettlon said the couple applied for advance voting ballots in Johnson County for the 2010 general election and submitted them. Meanwhile, they were traveling back and forth between their Olathe home and their new residence in Arkansas over several months, sorting and moving their belongings. During that time, they voted in person in Arkansas. “It was a stressful time for them and in the confusion they made a mistake,” Pettlon said. “They weren’t stuffing ballot boxes or anything.”
The secretary of state’s office recently filed three cases in the launch of Kobach’s promised crackdown on voter fraud. Steven Gaedtke, 60, and Betty Gaedtke, 61, were charged with misdemeanors for allegedly casting 2010 general election ballots in both Kansas and Arkansas.
… Steven Gaedtke is a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force, Pettlon said. Betty Gaedtke volunteers as a domestic violence educator. They built a cabin in the Arkansas Ozarks for their retirement, he said.
The 2010 election was not a presidential election year, so the Gaedtkes weren’t voting twice for the same candidates, Pettlon said. “They didn’t intend to do anything illegal,” he said. “They have a long track record of being good citizens.”