Judge Carli Lynn Kierny, who serves on the Nevada 8th Judicial District Court, sentenced Las Vegas resident Donald "Kirk" Hartle to probation after he was charged with voting twice in the 2020 general election by mailing in his deceased wife's ballot.
Hartle pleaded guilty to one charge of voting more than once in the same election and struck a deal with prosecutors, receiving a $2000 fine, to avoid serving prison time.
But it was Kierny's mic-drop response during court proceedings to the allegations of voter fraud that took center stage.
Kierny said that the fact Hartle was caught is a sign that the voting system is working as intended:
"Ultimately to me, this seems like a cheap political stunt that kind of backfired and shows that our voting system actually works because you were ultimately caught."
Hartle was charged after an investigation from the Secretary of State's Office found that he'd voted on behalf of his late wife, Rosemarie Hartle, who died of breast cancer four years ago at the age of 52.
According to KLAS-TV:
"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."
His sentencing made waves on social media, with many criticizing the Republican Party for pushing baseless voter fraud allegations.
Hartle made headlines last year after he issued remarks in response to the Nevada Republican Party citing Rosemary's Hartle's ballot as evidence of voter fraud in Nevada, telling KLAS-TV:
"That is pretty sickening to me to be honest with you. 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?"
At the time, Nevada Republicans defended Hartle and questioned how the forged signature could have passed the signature verification machine in Clark County.
Although voting twice in the same election is illegal, that did not stop former President Donald Trump, who has long asserted that the 2020 general election was stolen, from advocating for it.
Trump generated controversy ahead of the election when he urged North Carolinians to vote twice on Election Day, saying:
"Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote. If it isn't tabulated, they'll be able to vote. That's the way it is and that's what they should do."
The following day, Trump attacked the process of mail-in voting (which research shows greatly increases voter turnout) and suggested people send in their ballots as soon as possible, go to their polling places when early voting became available to see if their vote has been counted, and then vote in person if their vote had not been tabulated.
No polling place works this way.
In many states, the process of counting votes does not begin until polling places are officially closed on Election Day. Many states also have an online system that allows voters to check the status of their mail-in ballot and see if it's been received.
There is no reason whatsoever to go to a polling place and vote again if you've already voted.
There is no evidence that the 2020 general election was stolen and Trump's statements often ran counter to the findings of federal agencies.
In fact, a statement from the Trump administration's own Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of a joint statement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, affirmed the agencies found "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."
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