Judge Throws Book at Former Democrat Mayor Convicted of Ballot Harvesting

A former Democrat mayor in Arizona has been sentenced to jail after being convicted of ballot harvesting charges.

Guillermina Fuentes was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years probation after the judge rejected her plea.

Fuentes had requested probation with no jail time but the judge argued that she refused to accept responsibility for her criminal act and threw the book at her.

Most of these cases result in probation but the judge shocked observers by jailing Fuentes.

Fuentes is a 66-year-old school board member and former mayor of the small border town of San Luis.

Yuma County Superior Court Judge Roger Nelson overruled her character witnesses to send her to jail saying:

“The defendant acknowledged responsibility for carrying ballots for someone else.

“However, she stated, ‘I’m not a criminal.’

“Well, you are a criminal. You committed a criminal offense.

“I don’t think you recognize that as a criminal offense.

“That’s the problem that I have.

“Many of the things that were put forward as mitigating factors, I think they’re also aggravating factors.

“You have been a leader in the San Luis community for a long time.

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“People look up to you, people respect you, and they look to what you do.

“It’s been an issue for a long time, or at least it’s been alleged that it’s an issue, that people vote for others, take their ballots.

“Everybody that’s involved in politics in this area knew that a new law was passed.

“You certainly knew it, that that law was new, even went up to the Supreme Court.”

Anne Chapman, Fuentes’ lawyer, said:

“She entered a plea of guilty to ballot abuse — that is, delivering four lawfully voted, signature-verified ballots.

“The rest of the allegations against Ms. Fuentes are untrue, unfounded, untested, and largely made up by election-denying political opponents who have a political ax to grind.”

Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson said:

“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.

“That’s the issue of public integrity here.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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