Then-President Donald Trump speaks to the crowd at Minden-Tahoe Airport in September 2020. Photo special to The R-C by Michael Chan
Six Nevadans have been indicted due to their actions in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Three of the electors who are accused of falsely portraying themselves as Nevada’s presidential electors in the aftermath of the 2020 election are Douglas County residents.
Douglas County residents Jim DeGraffenreid, Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice are listed as among the indicted. Rice is the wife of Douglas County Commissioner Wes Rice. All three declined to comment when contacted by The Record-Courier.
The other three are Michael McDonald, Jesse Law, and Durward James Hindle III.
"When the efforts to undermine faith in our democracy began after the 2020 election, I made it clear that I would do everything in my power to defend the institutions of our nation and our state,” Ford said. “We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged. Today’s indictments are the product of a long and thorough investigation, and as we pursue this prosecution, I am confident that our judicial system will see justice done.”
All six have been charged with offering a false instrument for filing, a category C felony, and uttering a forged instrument, a category D felony, for offering a false instrument titled “Certificate of the Votes of the 2020 Electors from Nevada” to the President of the Senate; the Archivist of the United States; the Nevada Secretary of State; and the U. S. District Court for the District of Nevada.
The Clark County Grand Jury heard the case and issued the six indictments dated Dec. 5. The three-year statute of limitations on the accusations would have expired next week, according to news reports.
According to the indictment, the electors “did knowingly procure or offer a false or forged instrument to be filed, registered or recorded in a public office, which instrument, if genuine, might be filed, registered in a public space under any law of this state or of the United States.”
A Class C felony carries an up to five-year prison sentence. The forgery charge carries up to four years.
While the names of presidential candidates appear on the ballot, those votes aren’t directly for those candidates. Instead, the two major parties select a slate of electors at their conventions before anyone casts a ballot. Under state law, once the popular vote is certified, the electors for the winning side gather and vote.
On Dec. 14, 2020, electors selected by Democrats earlier that year gathered virtually after the Nevada Supreme Court denied an election challenge by Republicans.
Under Nevada law, electors are required to vote only for the candidate that received the highest vote total for president and vice president.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Joe Biden won 703,486 votes to Trump’s 669,890.
Results at the time revealed Trump won Douglas and 14 other Nevada counties, but not Clark or Washoe counties. Trump won 21,237 votes in Douglas to Biden’s 11,571.