Democrat Operative Pleads Guilty to Election Fraud in 2020 Arizona Primary

A Democrat operative has pleaded guilty to election fraud after being charged with running an illegal ballot harvesting scam in the 2020 Arizona primary.

Guillermina Fuentes, 66, admitted to committing ballot abuse, or ballot harvesting, which was made illegal under a 2016 Arizona state law.

The Arizona attorney general’s office said Fuentes was running an operation in the border city of San Luis to persuade voters to let her gather their ballots, the Associated Press reported.

In some cases, she was also filling out the ballots herself.

Fuentes could get probation after agreeing to a plea agreement.

Prosecutors dropped three felony counts alleging Fuentes filled out one voter’s ballot and forged signatures on some of the four ballots she illegally returned for non-family members, AP reported.

More from the AP:

Fuentes, a former San Luis mayor who serves as an elected board member of the Gadsden Elementary School District in San Luis, could be sentenced to up to two years in prison, but that would require a judge to find aggravating circumstances.

The plea agreement leaves the actual sentence up to a judge, who could give her probation, home confinement and a hefty fine for her admission to illegally collecting and returning four voted ballots.

Sentencing was set for June 30.

She will lose her voting rights and must give up elected office.

Attorney Anne Chapman said in an email Thursday that she had no comment on the charges against her client.

But Chapman ripped the state’s ballot collection law, the outlet said.

She says it makes things more difficult for minorities who historically have relied on others to help them vote: “This prosecution shows that the law is part of ongoing anti-democratic, state-wide, and national voter suppression efforts.”

Fuentes and her co-defendant were caught after being seen with several mail-in envelopes outside a cultural center in San Luis on the day of the 2020 primary election, investigators’ reports show.

The AP said that the ballots were dropped in an indoor ballot box.

A write-in candidate recorded a video of Fuentes and then called the Yuma County sheriff, the outlet added.

The investigators’ reports said the video shows Fuentes marking at least one ballot — but that charge was dropped, the AP said.

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While the case involved only a handful of ballots, the outlet said investigators believe the scheme went much farther.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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