The City of San Luis, Arizona has become embroiled in another controversy after a convicted ballot harvester, Gloria Torres, was appointed as the new Vice Mayor in a close 4-3 vote during the regular city council meeting on December 13.
Ms. Torres was previously convicted of ballot abuse in June 2023.
During the Regular City Council meeting held on December 13, 2023, Mayor Nieves Riedel and the City Council appointed Gloria Torres as the new Vice Mayor for the City of San Luis.
Former Vice Mayor Luis E. Cabrera recommended the motion to appoint Council Member Gloria Torres as Vice Mayor; the motion was seconded by Council Member Matias Rosales and approved four aye votes and three nay votes.
Vice Mayor Gloria Torres was first elected to the San Luis City Council in 2000 and is currently serving her third full term in the City Council. While on council, she has advocated for the improvement of our parks, streets, and infrastructure. Apart from serving on the San Luis City Council, she has been an active member of Comite de Bien Estar, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. She has served on the Gadsden Elementary School District #32 Governing Board, Western Arizona Council of Government Regional Council on Aging and on the Yuma County Advisory Council.
Upon relinquishing the duties and responsibilities of Vice Mayor, Council Member Luis E. Cabrera said serving as the city’s Vice Mayor for the past year had been an honor and a grand privilege.
“I am thrilled to be appointed Vice Mayor of the City of San Luis,” stated Vice Mayor Gloria Torres.
In June 2023, Gloria Lopez Torres pleaded guilty to charges of ballot abuse stemming from her involvement in a ballot harvesting scheme.
This decision came as the result of an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, which was aided by David Lara and Gary Garcia Snyder who uncovered incriminating video surveillance outside a San Luis polling station.
As a result, former San Luis Mayor Guillermina Fuentes and resident Alma Yadira Juarez were convicted in 2022. Torres and Nadia Guadalupe Lizarraga-Mayorquin were indicted with two class 6 felonies for conspiracy and ballot abuse.
The indictments suggest that Torres collected seven early ballots from Lizarraga-Mayorquin during the 2020 primary election, while Lizarraga-Mayorquin is believed to have gathered at least one early ballot from Flor Aylin Castaneda.
Law enforcement also executed search warrants at the Comite De Bien Estar non-profit office in San Luis looking for evidence of voter fraud related to the 2020 Election.
Previous reports revealed that Torres faced recall efforts last year due to her political connections with Fuentes.
Guillermina Fuentes was initially charged with two Class 4 felonies of Forgery and Conspiracy, a Class 5 felony of Ballot Abuse, and a Class 6 felony of Ballot Abuse.
She eventually pleaded guilty to only one Class 6 felony for ballot abuse, although she had allegedly trafficked numerous ballots and forged signatures on ballots.
The charges related to ballot signature forgery were dropped.
Alma Yadira Juarez also accepted responsibility for her part in a local ballot trafficking operation during the 2020 primary election after this evidence was presented to law enforcement.
Juarez, who was indicted in December 2020, admitted that Fuentes had provided her with the ballots to be cast into ballot boxes.
Subsequently, Fuentes was charged with multiple felonies. In spite of Gloria Torres’s guilty plea for ballot abuse which led to a two-year probation period, the majority of the Council deemed her suitable for the post of Vice Mayor.
Gary Garcia Snyder, who is running for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 25, told the Arizona Daily Independent, “I am both outraged and disappointed that a convicted ballot abuser has been elevated to this leadership position. The fact that a majority of the Council appears to have so little regard for our laws is an insult to residents, particularly in the Latino community. We are tired of this type of corruption and the Democrats so blatantly parading it in our faces.”
“Promoting a convicted ballot harvester, who has played a key role in the keeping the Democrats’ corrupt grip on our Latino communities, has to be a wakeup call for the Hispanic community in San Luis and surrounding areas,” he added.
“We are fed up with these hijinks and low standards. I am seeing my fellow Latinos migrating towards conservatives like me who hold high standards, share their values and their languages. Salva tu familia, tu Dinero, tu opportunidades y mas importante el sueno Americano vota con el partido Conservador “El Real partido del Hispano,” Snyder concluded.