Donald Kirk Hartle, a Republican, had claimed that idiosyncratic voted successful the 2020 predetermination by utilizing the mail-in ballot of his wife, who died successful 2017. He present faces 2 counts of elector fraud.
Oct. 23, 2021, 3:31 p.m. ET
Speaking to a section quality presumption successful November, Donald Kirk Hartle described being “surprised” by the anticipation that idiosyncratic had stolen his dormant wife’s mail-in ballot and utilized it to ballot successful the 2020 election. “That is beauteous sickening to me, to beryllium honorable with you,” helium told KLAS-TV successful Las Vegas.
But this week, the Nevada lawyer wide filed 2 charges of elector fraud against Mr. Hartle, 55, claiming that helium was the 1 who forged his wife’s signature to ballot with her ballot.
“Voter fraud is rare, but erstwhile it happens it undercuts spot successful our predetermination strategy and volition not beryllium tolerated by my office,” Aaron D. Ford, the lawyer general, said successful a connection connected Thursday. “I privation to accent that our bureau volition prosecute immoderate credible allegations of elector fraud and volition enactment to bring immoderate offenders to justice.”
The announcement from Mr. Ford’s bureau comes months aft waves of Republicans, including erstwhile President Donald J. Trump, falsely asserted that the 2020 election had been tainted by wide elector fraud, including successful Nevada, a authorities that Mr. Trump lost.
Mr. Hartle, a registered Republican, was charged with voting utilizing the sanction of different idiosyncratic and voting much than erstwhile successful the aforesaid election, the lawyer general’s bureau said successful the statement. Each charge carries a situation condemnation of up to 4 years and a good of up to $5,000, the prosecutors said.
The transgression ailment did not explicate however prosecutors came to the decision that Mr. Hartle had committed elector fraud. Questions sent to the bureau of Mr. Ford, a Democrat elected to the presumption successful 2018, were not instantly responded to connected Saturday.
David Chesnoff, a lawyer for Mr. Hartle, said successful a connection that his lawsuit “looks guardant to responding to the allegations successful court.” Mr. Hartle is scheduled to look successful the Las Vegas Township Justice Court connected Nov. 18.
The Nevada Republican Party had cited Mr. Hartle’s communicative arsenic grounds of voting irregularities on Twitter past year, saying that Mr. Hartle “was amazed to find that his precocious woman Rosemarie, a Republican, formed a ballot successful this years predetermination contempt having passed away” successful 2017.
Since the announcement of the charges against Mr. Hartle, however, the enactment has not corrected the record, said Callum Ingram, an adjunct prof of governmental subject astatine the University of Nevada, Reno.
“The authorities Republican Party has been beauteous quiescent surely connected this lawsuit since the communicative got flipped connected its head,” Dr. Ingram said successful an interrogation connected Saturday.
Mr. Hartle is the main fiscal serviceman and treasurer for Ahern Rentals, according to his LinkedIn profile. The concern rents retired operation instrumentality and is simply a portion of the Ahern Family of Companies. One of its businesses, Xtreme Manufacturing, was fined $3,000 successful 2020 for hosting a Trump rally that did not comply with the state’s Covid regulations astatine the time, said Kathleen Richards, a spokeswoman for the metropolis of Henderson, Nev.
Nevada was 1 of respective states successful November that was dealing with dubious claims of elector fraud aft the statesmanlike election.
The Nevada caput of state, Barbara K. Cegavske, said successful a papers posted successful December titled “Facts vs. Myths” that determination was nary grounds of large-scale elector fraud successful the state.
Ms. Cegavske’s bureau led the probe of Mr. Hartle’s case.
“Our bureau takes elector fraud precise seriously,” Ms. Cegavske said successful the connection released by Mr. Ford’s office. “Our securities part worked hard to bring this lawsuit to a close.”
Conservative quality outlets dispersed Mr. Hartle’s story. After the authorities Republican Party highlighted the lawsuit connected Twitter, the blimpish commentator Dinesh D’Souza, discussed the case connected his show. Then the Fox News big Tucker Carlson promoted Mr. Hartle’s account, saying: “We don’t cognize who did this. We privation we did, due to the fact that it’s fraud.”
For galore voters successful the state, Dr. Ingram said, proving that wide elector fraud did not hap “is thing that nary magnitude of counterevidence, nary magnitude of effort to beryllium folks incorrect with facts oregon reason, is ever going to interaction due to the fact that it’s an unquestionable nonfiction of faith.”