The Yuma County Sheriff says it will investigate 16 election fraud cases involving voting and registration fraud in the 2020 General Election. The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) and the Yuma County Recorder’s Office (YCRO) are now working together to "actively examine cases of voting fraud from the 2020 General Election and now a recent pattern of fraudulent voter registration forms leading up to the 2022 Primary Election," according to the May 11 Press Release.
The press release lists several examples of the types of fraud being investigated, including impersonation fraud, false registrations, duplicate voting, and fraudulent use of absentee ballots.
Yuma County Fraud/Sheriff
Dinesh D'Souza says the individual featured in his recent movie 2000 Mules is from Yuma County. 2000 Mules is based on the ballot trafficking investigation launched by True the Vote (TTV) and OPSEC. About an hour into the movie, a woman whose identity is concealed alleges that ballot trafficking has been going on for a long time in San Luis in Yuma County. She worked as a receptionist and was "instructed" to receive ballots from various people. She estimates she deposited "hundreds of ballots" in a dropbox that didn't have a camera during the period leading up to the 2020 election. She told Gregg Phillips of OPSEC that the people in the county "know who is gonna win the next election before it even happens."
Elections Are Fixed/Mule in San Luis
Another Yuma County voter fraud case not mentioned in the movie but discussed in UncoverDC's May 9 story debunking a May 3 AP "hit piece" on the film and TTV reveals the indictments of Alma Yadira Juarez and Guillermina Fuentes. They were charged with one count each of "ballot abuse," a Class 6 Felony, in December of 2020. Fuentes serves on the Gadsden Elementary school board, was mayor of San Luis, Arizona, from 2003-to 2004 and 2006, and is a Democratic precinct committee person in Precinct 31. The two women were caught harvesting ballots during the August 2020 primary in Yuma County.
Snyder and Lara
The illegal ballot activity came to light because of two Yuma County citizens, Gary Snyder and David Lara. The two men have been investigating criminal enterprises associated with elections for many years. They point out that ballot abuse is not just a Democrat issue but is seen on both sides of the aisle.
Synder is currently a Republican candidate for the Arizona Senate. Lara is a local business owner and school board member. They have appeared on multiple podcasts, and news shows to discuss their 20-year citizen-led mission to take down the "illegal ballot harvesting mafia and non-profit ballot laundering in Yuma County." In this case, the pair monitored two dropboxes, taking video from the car of the two women depositing ballots. During their June 21, 2021, interview on OAN with Dan Ball, Lara told the host that all his efforts finally paid off:
"It's taken me 20 years to get down to this point, and thank God for Gary's help. We were able to crack down on it. What happens is ballot harvesting has become very common in the low-income and minority communities. Unfortunately, the community organizers, the people that claim to help out these communities, are the ones they're taking advantage of. What happens is you have people in low-income communities that usually go to nonprofits that will help you with housing, health, or help fill out some type of documentation. These people now trust those community nonprofits, so they also help register people when they register them. And then received their first ballot. Then they trust these people, and they will go to these nonprofits and get their help to fill out those ballots."
Lara and Snyder told the full story on The Serge with Host Sergio Arellano on June 9, 2021.
A local kyma.com story on the case featured Snyder explaining why ballot abuse is so prevalent in the county. He says the "local community is not educated on what exactly ballot abuse is. You as a voter should only sign it and turn it in yourself [and] a lot of them don't know that. They've been persuaded by certain elected officials or certain nonprofits that, to them, it's somebody's system they trust them. They say knock on the door. Can I get your ballot, and they give it to them,” said Snyder.
Some Arizonans feel that this case may represent a "deprivation of the right to vote." However, according to kyma.com, Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Poquette reassured the public that no such deprivation of the right to vote occurred.
Their evidence was compelling enough to be sent to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office. Lara said it was the first of its kind nationwide because the video evidence was so compelling. It is apparently the first use of the ballot abuse law because County Recorders have been afraid to use the law to indict. Brnovich announced additional charges against Fuentes from the Grand Jury indictment in an Oct. 5, 2021, press release.
On Dec. 23, Brnovich announced the final Grand Jury decision to indict for one count each of ballot abuse.
A post on Brnovich's website states, "[i]n 2016, Arizona passed HB 2023 to restrict ballot harvesting in Arizona unless the person collecting the ballot is a family member, a person living in the same household, or a caregiver. Since the 1970s, Arizona has required people to vote at their specific precinct." The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently upheld the law.
UncoverDC's extensive coverage of TTV's ballot trafficking investigation has been compiled here. UncoverDC will continue to write stories as the information becomes available.