On Thursday, An Arizona Democratic operative pled guilty to charges of running an elaborate illegal ballot collection scheme in the 2020 elections.
According to an AP report, Guillermina Fuentes, a former mayor of San Luis allegedly convinced voters in San Luis to let her collect their ballots and she allegedly filled out multiple of these ballots.
Fuentes was initially indicted on one count of ballot harvesting in December 2020. In October 2021, an investigation by The Election Integrity Unit Of Arizona brought another charge against her along with a second defendant, Alma Juarez.
“During the August 2020 Primary Election, Fuentes knowingly collected four voted ballots from other persons, in collected four voted ballots from other persons, in violation of Arizona law,” Arizona Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.
“In addition to the Ballot Abuse charge, the new indictment alleges three additional felony charges: Conspiracy, Forgery, and an additional Ballot Abuse count,” the AG continued. “The new charges allege that Fuentes conspired to obtain and vote the early ballot of another individual in the August 2020 Primary Election.” He added,
On Thursday, they had a plea agreement with Fuentes and the state prosecutor’s office where the forgery and conspiracy charges were dismissed and Fuentes pled guilty, according to the AP report.
As per state law, only a voter’s family, household member, or caregiver is allowed to legally collect a ballot.
Voters handed over their ballots to Fuentes given her influence position in the Democrat party. Fuentes and her co-defendant Juarez, waited outside a Luis cultural center on the August primary to collect these ballots.
Fuentes allegedly was seen marking some of these ballots according to the AP report.
“The alleged illegal ballot collection by Fuentes and her co-defendant happened in plain sight outside a cultural center in San Luis on the day of the primary election, the reports show. Fuentes was at a card table set up by supporters of a slate of city council candidates and was spotted with several mail-ballot envelopes, pulling out the ballots and in some cases marking them.” The AP report reads.
“It was videotaped by a write-in candidate who called the Yuma County sheriff. An investigation was launched that day, and about 50 ballots checked for fingerprints, which were inconclusive. The investigation was taken over by the attorney general’s office within days, with investigators collaborating with the sheriff’s deputies to interview voters and others, including Fuentes.” The report adds.
The democrat attorney for Fuentes argues that Arizona’s ballot harvesting laws are “harming minority voters”
“This prosecution shows that the law is part of ongoing anti-democratic, state-wide, and national voter suppression efforts,” Anne Chapman, Fuentes’ attorney wrote in a statement.
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