LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man charged with forging his dead wife’s signature on her ballot, mailing it in and then claiming it had been stolen, has agreed to plead guilty.
The I-Team was first to report last month that Donald “Kirk” Hartle, 55, was facing two charges relating to the 2020 election.
The charges came after an investigation from the Secretary of State’s Office, which looks into any voter fraud allegations in connection with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
Rosemarie Hartle, of Las Vegas, died in 2017 at age 52 from breast cancer, Kirk Hartle, told the I-Team last November. A ballot for Rosemarie was issued in October 2020 and later received by the county, but Kirk said the ballot never came to his house. The I-Team found even though Rosemarie died in 2017, her name appeared on the active voter list.
In a guilty plea agreement filed Monday, Kirk Hartle will plead guilty to one charge of voting more than once in the same election, which is a category D felony. Category D felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of four years.
As part of the plea deal, Hartle will avoid prison time and will have to serve probation. If he stays out of trouble for a year, he will be able to withdraw his plea and instead plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit voting more than once in the same election.
He would then be fined $2,000 and receive credit for time served.
Rosemarie Hartle’s ballot was one of two cited by Nevada Republicans and national party leaders as evidence of voter fraud in Nevada. A state ballot review from the Secretary of State’s Office earlier this year found 10 possibly deceased voters had ballots cast in their names, a report said, citing data from the Office of Vital Statistics.
“That is pretty sickening to me to be honest with you,” Kirk Hartle told the I-Team in an interview last year. “It was disbelief. It 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 is this?”
“Have you started to think about the possibilities here?” the I-Team’s David Charns asked Kirk Hartle last November. “If it was taken in the mail? If it was taken from your mailbox? Have you started to think about that?”
“I’ve wondered about how that could have happened,” he said.
“Do you have any speculation?” Charns asked. Hartle laughed and said, “I don’t.”
During a press conference a week after the election, state party leaders and representatives for former President Donald Trump’s campaign cited two examples of deceased voters having ballots cast. One of the cases cited was Hartle’s. The other appears to have not been intentional, the I-Team confirmed last year.
Five people in Clark County voted twice, officials said last year. The allegations, including a handful of possible double votes, are all under investigation. Earlier this year, state Republican Party leaders voted to censure Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, accusing her of failing to fully investigate allegations of fraud.
Hartle is the chief financial officer at Ahern Rentals, which hosted a rally for former President Donald Trump last September and was cited for violating coronavirus protocols. The umbrella company hosted a QAnon conference in October at the Ahern Hotel off the Las Vegas Strip.
Details about how investigators tracked Hartle were never released.
The Nevada GOP has not responded to repeated requests for comment.