San Luis School Board Member Facing More Charges Related To Election Fraud

Guillermima Fuentes [Photo courtesy Yuma Police Department]

Additional felony election fraud charges have been filed against a school board member in Yuma County who was already awaiting trial for the same kind of crime.

Guillermina Fuentes, who serves on the San Luis School District Board, is now facing four felony counts instead of just the one contained in a December 2020 indictment. That is according to a spokesperson for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who released the new indictment Tuesday.

Fuentes, 65, will be formally arraigned Oct. 11 by Judge Roger Nelson of the Yuma County Superior Court on charges of marking and signing another voter’s ballot, conspiracy to commit voter fraud, and ballot abuse for collecting ballots belonging to four local voters. All of the offenses are alleged to have occurred during the August 2020 primary election.

The new indictment also represents an increase in the seriousness of the charges against Fuentes who now faces two Class 4 felonies of Forgery and Conspiracy, a Class 5 felony of Ballot Abuse, and a Class 6 felony of Ballot Abuse.
In the initial indictment, Fuentes and Alma Juarez were charged with one Class 6 felony for allegedly collecting the already completed ballots of four voters. The women, who lived in San Luis, then dropped off the ballots at a Yuma County voting center in violation of Arizona’s ballot harvesting law, which was upheld this summer but the U.S. Supreme Court.

Fuentes and Juarez were slated to appear before Nelson later this month for a change of plea or trial setting hearing. It is unclear as of press time whether Juarez’s case will move ahead on its own schedule or will be delayed now that new charges have been filed against her co-defendant.

There is no indication that Fuentes will be charged with anything further. However, Arizona Daily Independent has learned that at least one other person is under investigation in connection to long-running voter fraud activities in Yuma County.

The attorney general’s office has not said how the women came to be in possession of the four ballots nor what relationship, if any, they had with the voters. In Arizona, a person who knowingly collects voted or unvoted early ballots from a voter is guilty of a Class 6 felony unless the person is a member of the voter’s family or household, or is the voter’s caretaker.

The Yuma County cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson.

The charges against Fuentes and Juarez stem from hidden cameras utilized by two Yuma men, Gary Snyder and David Lara, as part of a citizen-initiated effort to uncover ballot abuse long reported to have occurred in their county. The video evidence they shared with local law enforcement officials eventually made its way to the attorney general’s election integrity unit.


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