Speed Reads

cue rudy giuliani screaming

Nevada man who claimed to have evidence of election fraud pleads guilty to voting twice

A Las Vegas man whose claim he had evidence of fraud in the 2020 presidential election was amplified by the Nevada Republican Party pleaded guilty on Tuesday to voting more than once in the same election.

Last November, Donald "Kirk" Hartle told KLAS that someone cast a ballot in the election for his wife, Rosemarie Hartle, who died of breast cancer in 2017. It was "sickening," he said, and "made no sense to me, but it lent some credence to what you've been hearing in the media about these possibilities and now it makes me wonder how pervasive this is?" The Nevada GOP pounced, tweeting video of the interview with a caption asking, "How did the forged signature pass Clark County's signature verification machine? And this isn't the only case of a deceased person voting in NV."

The Nevada secretary of state and attorney general's offices, which investigate allegations of voter fraud, filed charges against Kirk Hartle, accusing him of mailing in his late wife's ballot and voting twice in the election. Hartle agreed to plead guilty to avoid serving time in prison, and was sentenced on Tuesday to probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. "Ultimately to me, this seems like a cheap political stunt that kind of backfired and shows that our voting system actually works because you were ultimately caught," Judge Carli Kierny said. 

In a statement, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said that "though rare, voter fraud can undercut trust in our election system. This particular case of voter fraud was particularly egregious because the offender continually spread inaccurate information about our elections despite being the source of fraud himself." The Nevada GOP has not deleted its tweet about Hartle's false claims, or responded to KLAS's requests for comment.