Former San Luis, Arizona, mayor Guillermina Fuentes, a major local Democrat operative, pleaded guilty this week to ballot harvesting, the Arizona attorney general’s office announced.
Fuentes, along with Alma Juarez, was indicted in December 2020, each on one felony count of ballot abuse — also known as ballot harvesting, where political operatives collect ballots from voters and turn them in on their behalf.
Juarez already pleaded guilty in March. This week, Fuentes pleaded guilty as well.
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.
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.
Arizona Central reported the details of the case:
Prosecutors were apparently unable to prove the most serious charges, dropping three felony counts alleging that Fuentes filled out one voter’s ballot and forged signatures on some of the four ballots she illegally returned for people who were not family members. [Emphasis added]
Investigators wrote that it appeared Fuentes used her position as a powerful figure in the heavily Mexican-American community to get people to give her or others their ballots to return to the polls. Fuentes and her co-defendant were seen with several mail-in envelopes outside a cultural center in San Luis on the day of the 2020 primary election, the reports show. The ballots were taken inside and dropped in a ballot box. [Emphasis added]
Although Fuentes was charged only with actions that appear on the videotape and involve just a handful of ballots, investigators believe the effort went much farther. Attorney General’s Office Investigator William Kluth wrote in one report that there was some evidence suggesting Fuentes actively canvassed San Luis neighborhoods and collected ballots, in some cases paying for them. [Emphasis added]
Fuentes currently sits on the Gadsden Elementary School Board — an elected position that she will lose as a result of the guilty plea. She is facing up to two years in prison; sentencing is set for June 30.
In January 2021, a San Antonio, Texas, woman was charged with operating a massive ballot harvesting scheme that involved election fraud, illegal voting, unlawfully assisting people voting by mail, and unlawfully possessing an official ballot.
The woman in that case was caught on video footage claiming to be working with elected state and county officials in coercing voters, harvesting ballots, voting on behalf of other people, and running a cash-for-votes operation.
In October 2020, the Denton County, Texas, Sheriff’s office arrested 39-year-old Zul Mirza Mohamed for an alleged mail-in voter fraud operation. Mohamed, charged with 109 counts of voter fraud, was allegedly using a fraudulently obtained PO Box to request and deliver a large quantity of absentee ballots that he would then fill out and turn in.
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.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.