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Arizona Democrat Charged In New Voter Fraud Case

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


An Arizona Democrat and former mayor has been indicted on new charges related to voter fraud allegations stemming from the 2020 election.

Guillermina Fuentes was charged last year with returning four mail-in ballots that were not hers. “The Arizona attorney general’s office announced on Oct. 5 that Guillermina Fuentes was indicted for voting another person’s early ballot in the August 2020 primary election. She was charged with conspiracy, forgery, and a ballot abuse count,” FOX10 reported Wednesday.

The Associated Press added:

Fuentes, 65, a Democrat, is a former mayor of the border city of San Luis. She serves as an elected board member of the Gadsden Elementary School District in San Luis.

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Calls seeking comment from her attorney in the earlier case, Anne Chapman, were not immediately returned.

The new indictment alleges that Fuentes obtained and voted another person’s early ballot and forged their signature.

“Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that a State Grand Jury has indicted Guillermina Fuentes, of San Luis, Arizona, on additional charges related to her alleged illegal conduct in the August 2020 Primary Election. Fuentes is accused of voting for another person with an early ballot,” said a statement from his office.

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Brnovich’s office went on to describe the allegations:

In December 2020, Fuentes was indicted on one count of Ballot Abuse, also known as “ballot harvesting.” That charge, which is also included in the new indictment, alleges that during the August 2020 Primary Election, Fuentes knowingly collected four voted ballots from other persons, in violation of Arizona law.

The early ballots were deposited into a ballot box on Election Day, and were processed and counted by the Yuma County Recorder during the election. Arizona law only provides for a family member, household member, or caregiver of the voter to collect voted or unvoted early ballots from another person.

In addition to the Ballot Abuse charge, the new indictment alleges three additional felony charges: Conspiracy, Forgery, and an additional Ballot Abuse count. The new charges allege that Fuentes conspired to obtain and vote the early ballot of another individual in the August 2020 Primary Election. 

The indictment further alleges that Fuentes knowingly signed the individual’s name on an early ballot envelope, and that she allegedly violated another part of the Ballot Abuse law by marking the individual’s ballot.

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Fuentes was indicted in December along with another woman from San Luis, each on a single count of ballot abuse after returning the four early voting ballots that did not belong to them or any of their family members during the 2020 primary election. The two of them have pleaded guilty.

“Ballot abuse is a felony that carries a possible sentence of up to two years in prison and a $150,000 fine,” The AP reported separately.

“The Legislature passed the ban on so-called ballot harvesting in 2016. It bars anyone but a caregiver or family member from returning a mail ballot and carries a presumptive sentence of a year in prison. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in a ruling released in July,” The AP reported.

Late last month, Brnovich demanded that Maricopa County freeze materials from a recently concluded 2020 ballot audit.

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The Election Integrity Unit within the AG’s office sent a letter to the Arizona Senate “requesting supporting documents from the report released last week,” according to a Sept. 30 press release. “Additionally, the EIU asked Maricopa County to preserve all documents and data related to the 2020 election.”

“The EIU cannot comment on specific allegations until its review is complete,” the statement continued.

“The Arizona Senate’s report that was released [earlier] raises some serious questions regarding the 2020 election,” Brnovich added in a statement of his own. “Arizonans can be assured our office will conduct a thorough review of the information we receive.”

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