A Nevada man said a ballot cast in his dead wife's name 'lent some credence' to voter fraud claims. Now officials say he's the one who did it.

·2 min read
Absentee voting material typically sent to voters for elections
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  • Donald Kirk Hartle of Las Vegas was charged with two counts of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

  • Hartle voted twice, including with the mail-in ballot issued to his dead wife, officials said.

  • Hartle previously said the ballot cast in his wife's name gave credibility to voter fraud claims.

Donald Kirk Hartle of Las Vegas, Nevada, has been charged with two counts of voter fraud related to the 2020 general election, the office of Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced Thursday.

After already voting himself, Hartle, 55, used his dead wife's name on a second mail-in ballot in order to vote twice, according to the criminal complaint.

Rosemarie Hartle, his wife, died from breast cancer in 2017, according to Hartle.

When an investigation was first launched into who cast his wife's ballot, Hartle told KLAS that the incident was "pretty sickening" and "lent some credence to what you've been hearing in the media" regarding voter fraud. He also said it made him "wonder how pervasive" voter fraud is.

The Nevada GOP also tweeted about the incident, citing it has a "concrete case" of voter fraud.

In a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday, Hartle's attorney, David Chesnoff, said: "Mr. Hartle looks forward to responding to the allegations."

An investigation by KLAS found that Rosemarie's name remained on an active voters list following her death. She was issued a ballot in 2020 due to a new state law that required all counties to send every registered voter a mail-in ballot.

The completed ballot was then received by the county with a signature that matched their records, despite Hartle's claim that the ballot was never delivered to their house, officials told KLAS.

"Voter fraud is rare, but when it happens it undercuts trust in our election system and will not be tolerated by my office," Ford said in a press release. "I want to stress that our office will pursue any credible allegations of voter fraud and will work to bring any offenders to justice."

Both of Hartle's charges, voting using the name of another person and voting more than once in the same election, are punishable by prison terms of up to four years, as well as a fine of up to $5,000, according to the Nevada attorney general's office. His initial court appearance is set for November 18.

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