An Arizona Democrat just got in huge trouble. Her crime? Ballot harvesting, a process that has received a great deal of attention since the 2020 election.
As the Associated Press reports:
“A southwestern Arizona woman who pleaded guilty to collecting four early ballots in the 2020 primary was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail and two years’ probation, with the judge saying he did not think she had accepted responsibility for her crime.
The sentence for Guillermina Fuentes, a 66-year-old school board member and former mayor of the small border city of San Luis, caps a lengthy case that caught the eye of investigators the day of the August 2020 primary and eventually led to charges against Fuentes and another San Luis woman.”
In Arizona, ballot harvesting has been illegal since 2016 — making her 2020 crime all the more inexcusable. As Phoenix’s KTAR reports:
“The Legislature passed the ban on so-called ballot harvesting in 2016. It bars anyone but a caregiver or family member from returning a mail ballot and carries a presumptive sentence of a year in prison. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in a ruling released in July.”
This is clear corruption from a Former Mayor. Arizona deserves better than this. As a matter of fact, America deserves better.
The Associated Press also adds that her character witnesses were of no use in the trial, where the judge pronounced his sentence. Fuentes failed to take responsibility for her crime, and that is a characteristic of someone unimpressed by our system of justice.
“Yuma County Superior Court Judge Roger Nelson told Fuentes that despite a parade of character witnesses and her lawyer’s plea that she be spared from jail, she had not accepted responsibility.
’The defendant acknowledged responsibility for carrying ballots for someone else, however, she stated, ‘I’m not a criminal,’ Nelson read.
‘Well, you are a criminal,’ Nelson told her. ‘You committed a criminal offense. I don’t think you recognize that as a criminal offense. That’s the problem that I have.’”
Judge Nelson held her feet to the fire! While this sentence falls short of the year in prison the Arizona Attorney General pushed for, it is still a step in the right direction — our justice system, when it is at its best, is a potent force for making America a better place. All too frequently, our justice system is two-tiered, and that is no good for anyone.