Arizona School Board Member Indicted for Ballot Harvesting Voter Fraud in Yuma County
A state grand jury has decided to indict two women in Arizona’s Yuma County for voter fraud, with an affidavit alleging they participated in illegal “ballot harvesting” of mail-in ballots.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that Guillermina Fuentes and Alma Yadira Juarez are charged with one count of ballot abuse, a class six felony in the state. An affidavit alleges that Fuentes and Yadira possessed and delivered four mail-in ballots to a voting precinct at one time in contravention of state law. Under Arizona law, only a member of a person’s household may deliver their ballot to a precinct center for them.
One of the accused currently serves as a school board member for Gadsden Elementary in Yuma.
In a twist, Guillermina Fuentes was sued herself for accusing a San Luis, Arizona mayoral candidate of orchestrating voter fraud in 2010, with the candidate alleging Fuentes libeled her.
The fraud in question allegedly occurred before the August primary election in Arizona. Ballot harvesting is illegal in Arizona, with the state legislature having passed a law in 2016 to criminalize the mass collection of mail-in ballots, usually by political operatives. Watchdog organizations have previously accused Democratic interest groups of engaging in mass ballot harvesting, and Arizona has used mass mail-in election procedures for decades.
The allegations against Fuentes and Juarez are not a mass-scale incidence of fraud that could affect the 2020 election, but they speak to the vulnerabilities of election systems in hotly contested states and counties across the country.