AZ Democrat could face prison time for ballot harvesting

Breitbart News reports that Arizona prosecutors are looking to put a former Democrat mayor behind bars for ballot harvesting. 

That Democrat is Guillermina Fuentes, the former mayor of San Luis, Arizona. Breitbart describes Fuentes as “a major local Democrat operative.”

Last month, Fuentes pled guilty to ballot harvesting. There is little doubt that Fuentes made that guilty plea in order to try to reduce her penalty.

But, Arizona prosecutors are now pursuing a prison sentence.

What did she do?

Fuentes was one of two local, Democrat operatives to be indicted in December of 2020 for felony ballot harvesting. The other individual is Alma Juarez.

For those unfamiliar with ballot harvesting, it is when a political operative collects a voter’s ballot and turns it in on their behalf. It is easy to imagine the various things that could happen to these ballots along the way.

Breitbart News reports:

According to prosecutors, Fuentes used her status as a powerful local Democrat operative to run a ballot harvesting scheme that collected ballots from voters in Arizona’s August 2020 primary election. Prosecutors accused Fuentes of collecting and filling out ballots from voters as part of the scheme. In some cases, prosecutors allege that Fuentes paid voters to let her collect their ballots.

Prosecutors were not able to prove their entire case. But, they were able to prove enough to get both Fuentes and Juarez to plead guilty. That’s because Fuentes, on one occasion, was caught on camera ballot harvesting.

What now?

Now, having secured the guilty pleas, the focus is on sentencing.

For the crimes that she has pled guilty to, Fuentes is facing up to two years in prison. The prosecution, though, is only seeking a one-year prison term. On top of this, as a result of her guilty plea, Fuentes is also going to lose her position on the Gadsden Elementary School Board.

Still, a one-year prison sentence seems like a slap on the wrist for such a serious crime as ballot harvesting. But, maybe it’s the best that the prosecutors could do with the evidence that they have. It would likely have been a different story if the prosecution would have been able to prove more of what they had alleged.

Either way, Fuentes’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1.

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