Democrat Former Mayor Faces Sentencing for Ballot Harvesting: ‘Issue of Public Integrity’

Arizona Attorney General's Office

The Democrat former mayor of San Luis, Arizona, who pleaded guilty to ballot abuse, is hoping for leniency in sentencing.

Guillermina Fuentes pleaded guilty in June to a single count of ballot abuse and admitted collecting several early voting ballots during the 2020 election, Fox News reported Friday.

She then handed them off to a woman named Alma Juarez, who pleaded guilty in March. Juarez later deposited the ballots at a local polling place.

“According to prosecutors, Fuentes used her status as a powerful local Democrat operative to run a ballot harvesting scheme that collected ballots from voters in Arizona’s August 2020 primary election,” Breitbart News reported in June.

In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. The November election is coming with a big price tag as America faces the coronavirus pandemic. The demand for mail-in ballots is surging, election workers are in need of training and polling booths might have to be outfitted with protective shields. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. (Seth Wenig, File/AP)

“Prosecutors accused Fuentes of collecting and filling out ballots from voters as part of the scheme. In some cases, prosecutors allege that Fuentes paid voters to let her collect their ballots,” the outlet said.

After Juarez’s guilty plea, she made an agreement with prosecutors in exchange for a probation term.

Now, prosecutors want Yuma County Superior Court Judge Roger Nelson to sentence Fuentes to one year but her lawyers do not agree, and one claimed the other allegations against her were false.

Meanwhile, Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson said the two women were caught on video outside a voting center while they looked at four ballots.

“‘The question is, why does (Fuentes) feel the need to exert pressure over people in her community and control the flow of their ballot to the ballot box,’ Lawson told Nelson. ‘That’s the issue of public integrity here,'” Fox reported.

Fuentes is a member of the Gadsden Elementary School Board. However, she will lose that position as a result of the guilty plea, Breitbart News reported July 15.

The outlet mentioned the magnitude of some of the problems with mail-in ballots nationwide:

Federal election data reveals that about 28.4 million mail-in ballots have gone missing “in the last four election cycles dating back to 2012.” According to Pew Research Center analysis, there are potentially 24 million ineligible or inaccurate voter registrations on state voter rolls.

Per the Fox article, Nelson’s court assistant reportedly said he planned to give each woman 30 days in jail. They are due to be sentenced in the coming week.


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