Arizona Lawmaker Down With Hispanic Struggle, Unwilling To End Corrupt Ballot Harvesting

Arizona Lawmaker Down With Hispanic Struggle, Unwilling To End Corrupt Ballot Harvesting -- With the 2016 election on the horizon all across the United States, Arizona legislators heard compelling testimony from community leaders last week as to why the state should is looking to

With the 2016 election on the horizon all across the United States, Arizona legislators heard compelling testimony from community leaders last week as to why the state should is looking to join the majority of states and end the practice of ballot harvesting. At a hearing of the Arizona House Elections Committee on HB2023 lawmakers heard firsthand accounts of the oppressive practices of political machines that prey primarily on lower income neighborhoods through ballot harvesting.

HB2023 will finally put an end to ballot harvesting by making it a class six felony.

Sergio Arellano, a southern Arizona native and community leader, stunned lawmakers last week when he spoke truth to power about the abuses of mostly minority voters by political operatives. During questioning of Arellano by a white democrat lawmaker, who claimed ballot harvesting was important for his constituents, Arellano responded, “First of all Representative Larkin, with all due respect I am a first-generation American, and I know the struggle in the Hispanic community. My mom works three jobs – no father – absent father – I’ve lived in poverty – cockroaches – I mean you name it – I was there growing up.” The wounded warrior, who now serves as the Arizona State Director of the Republican National Committee continued, “I still continue to live and die in fight for these people every single day because they’re being oppressed and lied to by people from the Democratic Party; unfortunately because those are the operatives out picking up ballots.”

Arellano pleaded on behalf of the people of his eight poorest metropolitan area in the country before the visibly shaken Larkin. He advised the Education Committee members that he was sharing his neighbors’ stories of fraud because they could not. “’Mijito,’” said Arellano repeating the story one elderly woman told him, “’I don’t know who I voted for. Some guy came up, picked up my ballot and said I’ll take it for you.’” Arellano asked the woman if she had voted the ballot, and she replied in the negative. She told him, “’He just came over and he said I’m with the elections office and you have to turn in your ballot now. Is this your information?’ and he holds up an iPad with her with her name.”

Arellano was interrupted momentarily by the befuddled Larkin, but was asked to continue by Chairperson Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita. “When she doesn’t know who she voted for because some guy said this is my iPad. ‘Is this you, Miss Nincha,’ and pulls up the iPad and it has her name, her address, her age, her sex, and everything else, she says ‘Yes, oh my gosh this is me. Well we’re here to pick up your ballot.’ She hands it over – guess what? Who does she vote for? I don’t know and she doesn’t know,” concluded Arellano.

Larkin, who grew up in the mostly white community of Mesa, Arizona and is now a “union pharmacy technician for Fry’s Food Store,” according to his legislative biography, was clearly disturbed by the testimony. He attempted to recover some legitimacy when he claimed that he was down with the struggle. Although he acknowledged that the Hispanic vote is being repressed, he rejected the protections provided by the bill.

Arellano later appeared a popular radio show hosted by American of African descent James T. Harris to discuss what many Hispanics believed to be the “disrespectful responses” by Larkin and others. Arellano told Harris he was taken aback by Larkin’s claim to be down with the struggle and understand the plight of poor minorities, “because his constituents are 50% (Hispanic). Brother, we grew up down here. This is us. This is the streets. We come from and we know what it is like being Hispanic in this area with someone like a Grijalva knight, threatening you for speaking out,” referring to Rep. Raul Grijalva’s notorious army of operatives. “You’ll get squashed on here. And he’s gonna know the struggle because his constituents [Hispanics] are half the district?”

Arellano also discussed the fact that it appeared the democrat lawmakers on the panel were being fed information, questions, and answers from outside the hearing room. The testimony was broadcast live, and according to capitol sources, democrat operatives were on their phones rummaging through was he assumed were press releases and other potential media outlets to try and find information on him so they could try and discredit him. It didn’t work, when he was followed by another Republican Party leader, Shuron Harvey, an American of African descent, who grew up on Tucson’s south side and shares Arellano’s experience with the Grijalva machine.

Harris and Arellano discussed the video that went viral last year, when the former Maricopa County Republican Chairman A.J. LaFaro witness a ballot harvester delivering hundreds of ballots from processing. “This is about trying to hold people accountable. Right now there are no checks and balances in the communities. I can walk to your house and your neighborhood and see on my voter list the propensity of the voters and the tendency of the vote and if my list said that last year you voted for X, Y and Z then I’m just not going to turn in your ballot and toss it to the side or do what I have to do just so that your vote doesn’t count.”

Related articles:

Arizona primary ballot box stuffing caught on tape

Phoenix Ballot Harvesters Endure Heat For CASE Cause


  1. How cum, only when you lose you complain? Are you involved? Are you a one timer.
    Do you ask why the camps are using this methods? Are you award how an “Oligarchy
    Government got that way?

  2. There is something else, too. The precinct issues! I never heard the entire conversation but it has come up that the north and east side of town are lumped together with the south west side. Fair representation does not exist. We coukdnt vot Grijalva out of office if we were paid because the SW side vote far outnumber the other areas. Of course, I understand Grijalva wants it to remain as is but the State is looking into the unfair voting or actives in Tucson.

  3. I’m white and I was married to a hispanic woman for 5 years and I support this. So does this make me racist?

  4. If they won’t make the practice illegal then the Secretary of State needs to investigate particular harvesters and see what is going on that’s currently illegal, like picking up blank ballots. We don’t need a law for that one.

  5. Thank you Sergio Arellano and Shuron Harvey! Proud of you young men. We in Southern AZ know the stories of Grijalva door knockers buying blank ballots with $10 Food City gift cards. Not only are poor neighborhoods being harvested, assisted living homes are targets. Oldsters receive “voting assistance” from Democrat operatives. This behavior is felonious and must be stopped!

  6. robert, the ‘dreamers; dont know, well why are we trying to keep them here? They went to schools did they not, what did they do sleep through all the classes? Seems if they came here illegally, were allowed to go to school there is no excuse other then they dont care for the USA if they are too stupid/ignorant to know what is going on. If they are this way, why does the media go all out trying to indicate they are all geniuses and trying to improve life? I am sure there are some that know what is going on, they are also the ones who should return to their homelands and help those people improve their lives and not try to make this country like the one they ran away from. Their parents need to try to improve their lives and the money and stuff given to them should not dictate their only ‘knowledge’ of thsi country. But I guess its easy to cry ignorance rather than try to learn something?

  7. I am Hispanic and I am not Tribal. I am an American. These new people are “Tribal” like Ann Coulter says.
    Donald Trump for President.

  8. I feel so sorry for the Hispanic plight in the poorer districts. However they serve a important historical function to turn oppression around and make a fair playing field based on ethnic groups. This is why we passed the redistricting committee to follow the Justice Departments instructions, on how to structure ethnic guidelines. This is also the reason we need the dream act and advisors on how help on citizenship and voting. Most of the dreamers ddont know how the system works.

  9. YEAH Sergio & Shuron. You are the future of the Republican party & this country. This is the inclusive party I want to belong to. Thanks AJ for all the hard work you do on trying to get repressive ballot harvesting out of AZ. Did you notice no one called Rep. Larkin, the white guy, racist? It’s good to have a winning argument. It will work every time. Today I’m proud to be a Republican PC. Join the party, become a PC and help us hasten the change that is beginning.

    • Representative Larkin is not a Racist he is an opportunist using the ability to prey on voters who are susceptible to manipulation to further his own political career. Somehow being a racist seems more honest and above a political predator like Larkin. Perhaps his name is misspelled Lurkin would be more appropriate.

  10. Every election should be honest, transparent and verified. Every vote needs to be accounted for and everyone should be able to believe that their vote is not countered by fraud – either by someone voting who should not vote or by someone in “the system” who somehow eliminates or changes a vote that they do not like. Ideally every voter should be well informed on the issues being voted on but that is another issue.

    Christopher Cole
    First Vice-Chair
    Pima County Libertarian Party

  11. here is one thing, other cities, states.. look at the red blue map of the USA – the entire nation voted red vs the inner-cities that were blue ; it’s that close, it’s that divided , it’s what left. It appears it’s what’s for dinner.

  12. I live in a primarily mexican neighborhood and you can see what is going on all the time. Look like a white person they avoid you, look brown or black and they are there to talk or whatever to you. So the guy is right there are too many opportunities around for the exploitation of colored peoples. Make it a felony and be done with it.

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