I-Team: Nevada Republicans sent National Archives fake electoral certificates saying Trump won election

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Documents include tracking number, which shows delivery in Washington

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The National Archives received documentation from Nevada’s Republican Party certifying the state’s six electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election to former President Donald Trump, documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team indicate.

Despite the state’s real electors submitting the verified documentation for President Joe Biden, Nevada’s GOP went ahead with attempts to validate their own votes.

In December 2020, the I-Team reported Nevada Republican Party’s six electors signed paperwork signaling their support for Trump in a symbolic ceremony devoid of any legal merit which was held in Carson City and coincided with the official state-sanctioned tally on Dec. 14, 2020.

The certificate received by the National Archives looks much different than the official state-sealed one and reads, “We, the undersigned, being the duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president of the United States of America from the State of Nevada, do hereby certify six electoral votes for Trump.”

The state’s real election certification versus the one sent in by the Nevada Republican Party. (KLAS)

The outside of the envelope accompanying the documents is stamped and verified by the U.S. Postal Service and is addressed and was sent via certified mail to the National Archives from the rural town of Minden, Nevada. The USPS time-date stamps indicate the packet arrived in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 22.

The Supreme Court of Nevada and Gov. Steve Sisolak certified the election for Biden in November 2020. When certifying the results, the governor directed the electors from the winning presidential candidate’s party to cast their votes.

Nevada’s Electoral College met via Zoom during an official ceremony with the Secretary of State’s Office on Dec. 14. The electors cast their ballots and held them up so they could be seen.

Nevada’s six electors cast their votes for President-elect Joe Biden. (KLAS)

The constitutional process took place across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A few hours after the official state process had ended, a video accompanied a tweet from the Nevada GOP, saying, “History made today in Carson City,” as footage showed Republican electors signing papers on a table. The event was live-streamed on a YouTube channel called “Right Side Broadcasting Network.”

The Nevada Republican Party sent the federal government documentation certifying the election for former President Donald Trump, even though the state’s real electors had already done the same, documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team indicate. (KLAS)

“Our brave electors standing up for what is right and casting their electoral votes for @realDonaldTrump,” the state party’s Twitter account later tweeted. “We believe in fair elections and will continue the fight against voter fraud in the Silver State!”

Documents obtained by the I-Team on Wednesday indicate at least one set of the Republican-written electoral votes for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were sent to the National Archives.

The Republican ceremony on Dec. 14 was not a state-sanctioned electoral vote meeting and has no legality in the actual process. No state can submit more than one set of electoral votes.

The Nevada Republican Party sent the federal government documentation certifying the election for former President Donald Trump, even though the state’s real electors had already done the same, documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team indicate. (KLAS)

When the I-Team asked the National Archives in Dec. 2020 about receiving the documents, a spokesperson pointed back to the official state-signed certificate, which says Democratic electors in Nevada won and cast their six electoral votes for Biden.

A spokesperson for the National Archives said they could not comment on any “communication with private individuals.”

In a statement after the event, Nevada GOP chair Michael McDonald said the party’s electors convened in Carson City due to ongoing legal battles seeking to overturn the election results.

“The people of Nevada did not have a fair election due to the irregularities and fraud seen throughout the state,” McDonald said. “With ongoing challenges and evidence left to be investigated, we must submit our electoral votes for the rightful victors and allow Congress to make a determination.”

“With disturbing evidence of voter fraud in the state, including double voting, illegal voting, deceased voters casting ballots, and more, there is a legitimate concern over the rightful victor in the Silver State,” the statement continued. “A court of law has failed to meaningfully evaluate the evidence and our law enforcement agencies and government officials have failed to investigate. This left our electors no choice but to send their votes for President Trump to Congress to make a determination as to who is the rightful victor of Nevada between the dueling votes.”

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, did not have a comment on the Republican event at the time.

The event had no legal standing. Biden won Nevada by more than 33,000 votes.

Nevada Republican Party tweet
Nevada’s six Republican Party electors cast symbolic votes for President Donald Trump. The votes have no legal merit as the state’s actual electors cast their votes for President-elect Joe Biden. (Twitter/KLAS)

In Nevada in 2020, 10 dead voters had ballots cast in their names and 10 people voted twice, the I-Team learned from a secretary of state report, far below initial claims from state and national Republicans alleging nearly 4,000 individual cases of voter fraud.

A review of the reports found 10 possibly deceased voters had ballots cast in their names, the report said, citing data from the Office of Vital Statistics.

In one case, Donald “Kirk” Hartle, who told the I-Team last year that someone had stolen his deceased wife’s ballot and voted, in fact voted himself, officials said.

An envelope accompanying the documents indicates the packet was sent via certified mail to the National Archives from rural Minden, Nevada, later that day. It arrived in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 22. (KLAS)

Rosemarie Hartle, of Las Vegas, died in 2017 at age 52 from breast cancer, Kirk Hartle, told the I-Team after the November election. 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.

The I-Team was first to report that prosecutors were charging Kirk Hartle in October 2021. In a plea agreement, Kirk Hartle pleaded 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 avoided prison time and was placed on 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.

Rosemarie Hartle’s ballot was one of two cited by Nevada Republicans and national party leaders as evidence of voter fraud in Nevada.

“Dead people voted in Clark County,” Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, said in a news conference after the election last year. “We have two examples that we have talked about and want to talk about today. One is the death of Rosemarie Hartle in 2017.”

The other allegation Schlapp referenced appears to have not been intentional, the I-Team confirmed last year.

Neither the Nevada GOP nor Schlapp have responded to repeated requests for comment on the Hartle case. A spokesperson at the Secretary of State’s Office said staff worked a combined 240 hours on the Hartle case.

It can take years for voter fraud elections to end in charges. There are cases from the 2016 election that are still making their way through court.

Voter fraud is a felony and carries a fine and jail time. Cegavske’s party censured her for defending the election, which she oversaw.

The I-Team reached out to the Nevada GOP again on Wednesday for comment.

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office declined to comment.

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