On Oct. 19, Arizona state Attorney General Mark Brnovich said that two Arizona women, one of whom is a sitting city councilmember, were indicted for their alleged involvement in a 2020 ballot harvesting scheme in Yuma County.
Brnovich said in a statement that a state grand jury charged Gloria Lopez Torres of St. Luis and Nadia Guadalupe Lizarraga-Mayorquin of San Luis, with conspiracy and ballot abuse on Oct. 3. Under state law, ballot harvesting is considered a Class 6 felony, and convictions usually carry a penalty of up to two years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine.
Torres currently sits on the San Luis City Council, according to local media.
The two women are accused of conducting a scheme to collect “early ballots from other voters” and deposit them in a ballot box during the state primary in August 2020.
Grand jury indictments that were returned earlier this month reveal that Torres is accused of collecting seven ballots from Lizarraga-Mayorquin. Lizarraga-Mayorquin also collected at least one ballot from an unidentified third party.
According to state law, only a family member, household member or caregiver is allowed to collect early ballots from another individual in Arizona, Brnovich’s office said in the statement.
The indictments claim that the activity started around July 12, 2020, and ran until Aug. 4, 2020, the day of the primary election. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office obtained video footage of alleged ballot harvesting near a polling station in San Luis, the indictment said.
Torres has held a number of government positions in San Luis for over 20 years, after she was first elected to the city council in 2000, the Arizona Daily Independent reports.
This comes just a week after former San Luis Mayor, Guillermina Fuentes, and another woman, Alma Yadira Juarez, were sentenced for their role in the same 2020 ballot-harvesting scheme. Fuentes was ordered to turn herself into the Yuma County Jail on Oct. 13 where she will serve 30 days, Brnovich said.
Both Fuentes and Juarez pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of ballot abuse.
“A group of subjects, lead by Guillermina Fuentes were seen on video manning a table and appearing to be supporting particular candidates,” the report from the Arizona Attorney General’s office said. “A female identified as Alma Juarez approached the table and made contact with a second female identified as Guillermina Fuentes. Fuentes is ultimately observed taking a ballot from Juarez.”
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