Donald Kirk Hartle, a white GOP voter, received a light sentence after illegally casting a ballot for his deceased wife, Rosemarie Hartle, in the 2020 presidential election.

Only a small number of voter fraud cases have been proven. Bruce Bartman of Pennsylvania cast an absentee ballot on behalf of his dead mother in support of Donald Trump‘s re-election; Robert Richard Lynn, also from Pennsylvania, used a typewriter to write in an absentee ballot for his deceased mother; Edward Snodgrass, a Republican official in Ohio, forged his dead father’s signature on an absentee ballot in an attempt to rig his re-election. All white Republicans received light sentences.

But civil rights activists have pointed out the disparity in punishment when it comes to black voters. Crystal Mason, a black woman, cast a provisional ballot in the 2016 elections while on supervised release in Texas. Because she was ineligible to vote, she was sentenced to five years in prison, a much harsher punishment compared to her white counterparts who willfully ignored the law in order to cheat and rig a system that already works in their favor. Mason says she was unaware that she was breaking the law.


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