Cochise County Woman Sentenced to Probation for Casting Her Deceased Mother’s Ballot

A Cochise County Judge sentenced a woman to probation for illegally casting her dead mother’s early ballot in 2020.

“Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that 56-year-old Krista Michelle Conner of Cochise County was sentenced today (June 6, 2022) by Judge Timothy Dickerson of Cochise County Superior Court to three (3) years of supervised probation on one count of illegal voting, a class 6 felony, for illegally casting the early ballot of her deceased mother during the November 2020 general election. Conner’s voter registration was also revoked and may be reinstated upon completion of probation. As a condition of that probation, Conner was ordered to pay $890.00 in fines and surcharges and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service,” according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

In February, the AGO’s election integrity unit indicted Conner for placing a signature on her deceased mother’s ballot. Conner’s mother died approximately one month before Conner signed the ballot.

This sentencing came out the same day the Arizona Republican Party’s (AZGOP) attempt to end most mail-in voting was rejected by Mohave County Judge Lee F. Jantzen.

As reported by The Arizona Sun Times, AZGOP Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward filed a complaint which alleged no-excuse mail-in voting goes against the Arizona Constitution.

However, Jantzen struck down the complaint, saying it did not have a likelihood of success.

“Is the Arizona Legislature prohibited by the Arizona Constitution from enacting voting laws that include no-excuse mail-in voting? The answer is no,” Jantzen said in his ruling.

Conner is not the only Arizonan to recently plead guilty to election fraud-related charges.

Guillermina Fuentes, the former mayor of San Luis, pleaded guilty to ballot harvesting last week.

According to her plea, Fuentes collected the ballots of four other people for the August 2020 primary election. Under Arizona law, a person who collects an early ballot from a non-family or household member is subject to a class 6 felony.

Conner’s case is not unique either. Recently, a former Scottsdale resident also cast her deceased mother’s early ballot in the 2020 general election.

“Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that Tracey Kay McKee, age 64, of Scottsdale, was sentenced on April 29, 2022, to two years of felony probation and fined $1,730.00 for illegally casting the ballot of her deceased mother in the 2020 General Election,” according to the AGO.

According to KTAR News, McKee sobbed and apologized during her sentencing in Maricopa County Superior Court.

“Your Honor, I would like to apologize,” McKee told Judge Margaret LaBianca. “I don’t want to make the excuse for my behavior. What I did was wrong and I’m prepared to accept the consequences handed down by the court.”

Prior to her plea, KTAR reported, McKee and her mother were registered Republicans.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].


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