“The state Republican Party has been pretty quiet certainly on this case since the narrative got flipped on its head,” Dr. Ingram said in an interview on Saturday.
Mr. Hartle is the chief financial officer and treasurer of Ahern Rentals, according to his LinkedIn profile. The business rents out construction equipment and is a part of the Ahern Family of Companies. One of its businesses, Xtreme Manufacturing, was fined $3,000 in 2020 for hosting a Trump rally that did not comply with the state’s Covid regulations at the time, said Kathleen Richards, a spokeswoman for the city of Henderson, Nev.
Nevada was one of several states in November that was dealing with dubious claims of voter fraud after the presidential election.
The Nevada secretary of state, Barbara K. Cegavske, said in a document posted in December titled “Facts vs. Myths” that there was no evidence of large-scale voter fraud in the state.
Ms. Cegavske’s office led the investigation of Mr. Hartle’s case.
“Our office takes voter fraud very seriously,” Ms. Cegavske said in the statement released by Mr. Ford’s office. “Our securities division worked hard to bring this case to a close.”
Conservative news outlets spread Mr. Hartle’s story. After the state Republican Party highlighted the case on Twitter, the conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza discussed the case on his show. Then the Fox News host Tucker Carlson promoted Mr. Hartle’s account, saying: “We don’t know who did this. We wish we did, because it’s fraud.”
For many voters in the state, Dr. Ingram said, proving that widespread voter fraud did not occur “is something that no amount of counterevidence, no amount of effort to prove folks wrong with facts or reason, is ever going to touch because it’s an unquestionable article of faith.”