The Hartle mystery is now solved. And it turns out that the fraud was committed by a Republican.
Hartle was married to Las Vegas businessman Donald Kirk Hartle, a registered Republican. In November 2020, Hartle Recount
Las Vegas 8 News Now (KLAS-TV) said he felt “in disbelief” when he discovered that a mail-in ballot had been submitted in his late wife’s name. It was “pretty sickening,” he said at the time, adding that he didn’t know how it could have happened.
But Hartle had actually voted himself.
Indeed. And this is not the first time that something like this has happened.
In November 2020, the Trump campaign Underline
a case in which a ballot was cast in the name of a long-deceased Pennsylvania woman. His son later pleaded guilty
to vote for Trump, saying, according to the Philadelphia Investigator
, he had “listened to too much propaganda and made a stupid mistake”.
False or exaggerated claims
So there are a handful of confirmed cases in which ballots were indeed cast illegally on behalf of deceased people, and perhaps we could learn more over time. Earlier this year, the Nevada Secretary of State referred
10 “debatable” cases to the police for investigation.
But Trump vague statements
that thousands of ballots cast on behalf of deceased people in various key states were completely unfounded; his massive numbers were purely fictitious. Some specific ballots that the Trump campaign claimed to be fraudulent, were quickly found to be legitimate ballots cast by living people with the same or similar
names like deceased people.
And Republican voters were responsible for some of the small number of known crimes.
A local Republican official was the author of a case in Ohio, admitting
forging a signature to vote under the name of his recently deceased father; he Recount
NBC News was an “honest mistake” and also that he had simply “tried to fulfill the wishes of a dying man.”
In Colorado, a man who was charged in 2021 with the murder of his wife, who went missing in May 2020, was also charged with illegally voting for Trump in the November election. He reportedly told FBI agents that he submitted the ballot because he thought “all these other guys were cheating” and that his wife would have voted for Trump anyway.
In some of the confirmed cases, including Hartle’s, it is not publicly known for which presidential candidate the illegal vote was cast. Either way, there is no sign that the crime of voting under the name of a deceased person has occurred frequently enough to have tipped any state over to Biden, that this crime was. committed largely by Biden voters, or that the crime generally goes unnoticed. by the authorities.
“No one claims that there is never voter fraud. Numerous studies have examined the frequency of voter fraud, and it is extremely rare,” said Paul Gronke, professor of political science and director of the Reed College Election and Voting Information Center
. “Voter impersonation fraud, which Mr. Hartle did when he forged his wife’s name, is even rarer.” Gronke said that while fraudulent voters can sometimes get through the verification systems if they are ready to commit a crime like Hartle did, “there is no evidence in this case that voter fraud occurs at a level which modifies the results of the elections “.
The Nevada Republican Party did not respond to a CNN request for comment on how it brought attention to the Hartle case in 2020.
Which is not surprising. When it comes to voter fraud, some of Trump’s allies have taken a distinctly Trumpian approach: launching sensational statements into the public domain before the real facts are known – and if embarrassing real facts do eventually emerge, just move on. next sensational statement, confident that the truth will never reach much of the Republican base.