A Nevada man forged his dead wife’s signature and then mailed in a ballot using her name for the 2020 election, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office announced.
Donald Kirk Hartle, a 55-year-old registered Republican from Las Vegas, was charged with two counts of voter fraud for using the name of another person and voting more than once in the same election, the AG said in a statement on Thursday.
His wife, Rosemarie Hartle of Las Vegas, died in 2017 at the age of 52 from breast cancer, he told KLAS-TV after it was announced state officials were investigating the matter.
“That is pretty sickening to me, to be honest with you,” he told the outlet in November of 2020, once the investigation began. The county had reported it had received a mail-in ballot request from his wife, but Hartle said it never came to his house.
His wife’s signature on the ballot was initially reported to have matched the signature Clark County officials had on file for Rosemarie.
“It certainly brings up a lot of discomfort,” Kirk said at the time. “There’s a pretty exhausting process you go through when someone passes.”
The alleged fraud occurred between Oct. 26 and Oct. 30, 2020, according to the charges.
He is the only man in Nevada being prosecuted for voter fraud in connection with the 2020 election.
“Voter fraud is rare, but when it happens it undercuts trust in our election system and will not be tolerated by my office,” said AG Aaron D. Ford in a statement. “I want to stress that our office will pursue any credible allegations of voter fraud and will work to bring any offenders to justice.”
Hartle is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 18 in Las Vegas Township Justice Court. Both charges carry a possible prison term of up to four years, as well as a fine of $5,000.
Hartle is an executive at Ahern Rental Inc., which was fined $3,000 for COVID-19 mask and social gathering violations while holding a Trump rally for thousands in September 2020, donned a “Great Awakening Weekend.”
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