The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) announced  earlier this month that it is investigating “a recent pattern of fraudulent voter registration forms leading up to the 2022 Primary Election.” The inquest has arisen from the office’s current investigation of “cases of voting fraud from the 2020 General Election.” YCSO is working in conjunction with the Yuma County Recorder’s Office, which is formally documenting all the evidence the probe turns up. As of March, the YCSO says it had 16 open cases related to potential registration and/or voting fraud.

No one can go back in time and undo the irregularities and fraud of the 2020 General Election, which was docukented in the recently released film, 2000 Mules. But it is possible — indeed, necessary — to learn by examining what happened and apply the lessons to preventing bad actors from ever compromising another election, going forward.

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According to the YCSO press release about the investigation, there are several categories into which most of the possible fraud fits:

Some examples of voter fraud Yuma County is currently seeing are the following:

  • Impersonation fraud: Voting in the name of other legitimate voters and voters who have died or moved away.
  • False registrations: Falsifying voter registrations by either using a real or fake name, birth date, or address. This is being done by outreach groups who are paid for each registration form they submit, therefore, are out soliciting voters into unnecessarily re-registering or falsifying forms with Yuma County resident’s identities.
  • Duplicate voting: Submitting multiple votes or registering in multiple locations and voting in the same election in more than one jurisdiction or state.
  • Fraudulent use of absentee ballots: Requesting absentee ballots and voting without the knowledge of the actual voter; or obtaining the absentee ballot from a voter and either filling it in directly and forging the voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter who to vote for.

The YCSO says the majority of the cases they’re investigating involve duplicate voting, which is a class 5 or class 6 felony. “A person found guilty faces up to 2 or 2.5 years in prison, fines, restitution, loss of voting rights, and/or probation,” warns the sheriff’s office.

Tania Pavlak, the YCSO Public Affairs Officer, told The Epoch Times, “What they’re seeing is that there are registration forms that are being either falsified or people that are double registering with information that doesn’t match their current registration. So for example, they’ll have the same name but a different birthday, but everything else will be the same. So it looks like people are either not filling it out completely when they’re filling it out with soliciting groups, and then they’re just getting filled in by other people.”

Addressing suggestions that the investigation had been triggered by the release of 2000 Mules, Pavlak clarified, “We already had been investigating these cases for the past few months and so the sheriff wanted to make sure we sent out that information with election season now hot and up and running. That way, people were aware of what was happening and also could stay vigilant.”

On Friday, a rumor began circulating that “law enforcement” may have been conducting “raids on non-profits potentially involved in ballot trafficking.” Ariz. gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake first tweeted the claim:

PJ Media reached out to Pavlak, who denied the sheriff’s office was involved in any such activity. “There is currently some ongoing investigations through the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office regarding voting fraud. YCSO has not served any recent warrants in connection with these cases.”

PJ Media will continue to monitor developments in this investigation.

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