Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Lying in Las Vegas

The right wing's manipulated hysteria about elections takes several forms, one of which is fake stories of voter fraud. These range from hyperbole like Trump's millions of "illegals" voting to specific claims that later turn out to be false. Once in a while the claim is true but it was actually a Republican's misdeed.

That was just confirmed in Nevada.

Kirk Hartle of Las Vegas had clear proof that an absentee ballot was sent for his dead wife. The ballot was voted.

Voter fraud, he claimed. It was promoted by the Nevada GOP on Twitter and got airplay from Fox News and all the usual media suspects. They extrapolated this single example, saying if it had happened this one time, it must have happened hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands more times!


And now, guess what. It turns out it was the widower who voted the dead woman's ballot, and we can imagine he voted it for Trump and other Republican candidates.

Will Nevada Republicans stop advocating for voter suppression laws, now that it's known there wasn't a single case, let alone hundreds or thousands? 

No, of course not.

And to top it off, this criminal is getting away with just a fine of $2,000 and a warning to stay out of trouble for a year. Despite the fact that he lied about what he did to manipulate public debate on voter fraud, which is worse than a single act of voter fraud, in my opinion.

I wonder how much money the state of Nevada spent investigating Hartle's false claim? More than his $2,000 fine, I'll bet.

Compare that with the cases of Crystal Mason (sentenced to five years) and Rosa Maria Ortega (eight years), and Hervis Rogers (still awaiting trial, but facing a similar sentence to Mason). None of whom voted incorrectly on purpose, or lied about it afterward.

It seems to me the lesson Republicans will learn from the case of Kirk Hartle is that they will not be punished for committing voter fraud, or for lying about voter fraud. Go ahead, make up any story you want to. At worst, you'll receive a slight spanking.


I heard about this case on the Rachel Maddow Show. That clip can be seen here. About halfway through, she interviews Jon Ralston of the Nevada Independent, giving a local view of the story.

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