The Arizona Republican Party announced last week that it would reward anyone who provides evidence of vote buying in the 2022 election a $50,000 reward, with up to two rewards. The evidence must lead to an arrest and conviction.
The press release explains how vote buying occurs, usually with mail-in ballots since they are not secret from everyone. “Unfortunately,” the AZGOP said, “the movement towards mass mail-in voting completely undoes secret ballot reform. Mail-in ballots are not secret — once a person has a ballot in their home, they can easily show it to anyone, including bad actors.”
U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner sentenced Demetri Lott, 44, of Ashburn, Georgia, to 9 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of the theft of a firearm from a licensed dealer on June 1.
“Our office is committed to prioritizing prosecutions of those responsible for the greatest gun violence in our communities, including those who illegally traffic in firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.
A man who was convicted of voting in Arizona and New Hampshire for the same election has continued voting in Arizona. Court documents show Sigmund Boganski, 77, voted in both states in the 2016 election, but according to the Maricopa County Recorder, he requested an early ballot for the 2020 election.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has come under fire for her handling of the electronic system used to collect online signatures for political candidates, E-Qual. The system was not updated to accommodate new redistricting, which has made it very difficult for campaigns to collect enough signatures in time to make the ballot this fall. On March 17, Hobbs took the entire system offline, making it impossible to collect any signatures at all online, so Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre on March 29 to “investigate and take any appropriate enforcement actions (civil and criminal).”
McIntyre told the Arizona Sun Times, “I can confirm that we have received the request and begun the investigative process.”
The Minnesota Freedom Fund supplied bail for a suspect who had been in custody on a felony charge after being arrested in a stolen vehicle in Bloomington. Three days after being bailed out by the organization, the man stole a vehicle in Minneapolis and crashed it into a building while trying to flee, charges say.
The controversial nonprofit bail fund, MFF, which raised over $40 million in celebrity-fueled donations during and after the George Floyd riots in 2020, has come under fire several times since then. The organization raised millions on the premise that it would bail out any peaceful protesters arrested at the time. But instead, the organization has repeatedly bailed out offenders with violent or lengthy criminal histories, some of whom have subsequently been charged with new crimes while out on bail, including murder, sex crimes and serious assaults.
One recent repeat offender bailed out by MFF is Ismail Mohamed Hussein, 23, of Minneapolis. In addition to having ten prior convictions since 2019, including felony charges of theft and first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, Hussein was arrested at least four times in just 23 days in January of this year.
A Grand Jury has indicted a prominent Democratic official in the border city of San Luis, Arizona again on charges related to ballot harvesting during the 2020 primary election. Guillermina Fuentes, who is a former mayor of San Luis, a Democratic precinct committee person, and a member of the Gadsden Elementary School Board, was first indicted in December on one count of ballot abuse, also known as ballot harvesting, for collecting four ballots from people and turning them in. She was not authorized to do so since she was not a family member, household member, or caregiver of the voters per Arizona law.
The new charges of conspiracy, forgery, and an additional ballot abuse count relate to a fifth voter, where she signed the voter’s name on the return envelope and marked their ballot. Alma Juarez, another San Luis resident, was also indicted for ballot abuse in December along with Fuentes. Fuentes has pleaded not guilty. The Democrats of Greater Tucson describe Fuentes as “very politically active and has helped gather signatures for candidates.”