Arizona Woman Sentenced To Jail Time For Ballot Harvesting

Guillermina Fuentes (D), a 66-year-old school board member and former mayor of San Luis, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years probation for harvesting ballots during the 2020 election.

Many people looked to the case as evidence of widespread voter fraud in the state of Arizona, but Fuentes and another San Luis woman have only been found guilty of harvesting four ballots in Arizona.

In 2020, the presidential election between Biden and Trump was tight, and early results seemed to favor Trump. A late surge in states like Georgia and Arizona, however, swung the results to the eventual winner President Joe Biden.

Since the election, however, many Republicans, and specifically Trump supporters have claimed that the election was stolen and point specifically to Arizona as one of the states where ballots were harvested.

The judge in the case said, “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.”

The larger question is that if Fuentes was able to sneak at least four ballots into the election and have them legally counted, how easy might it have been for that to happen on a larger scale. Fuentes and her attorney argued that, “The Court’s sentence today is an unjust result in a political prosecution where the only alleged harm was the delivery of four lawfully voted ballots.”

Prosecutors in the case actually pushed for more significant charges initially. Fox News reported that, “Prosecutors alleged in court papers that Fuentes ran a sophisticated operation using her status in Democratic politics in San Luis to persuade voters to let her gather and, in some cases, fill out their ballots. But they dropped more serious charges of conspiracy and forgery and both defendants pleaded guilty to a single count of ballot abuse.”

Fuentes automatically loses her seat on the school board and she will serve her jail sentence and probation, but the larger question of ballot harvesting remains unanswered.

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