san luis
San Luis’ New Vice Mayor Is A Convicted Ballot Harvester Under Probation

January 4, 2024

By Corinne Murdock |

The San Luis City Council selected Gloria Torres as their newest vice mayor, a woman convicted and currently under probation for ballot harvesting in the 2020 election.

During their final meeting last month, the city council voted to select Torres to the position in a close 4-3 vote. Former Vice Mayor Luis Cabrera nominated Torres to succeed him; councilman Matias Rosales seconded the motion. The Arizona Daily Independent first reported on Torres’ appointment.

Torres wasn’t the only option; the council had another nomination put forth to replace Cabrera. Councilwoman Maria Cecilia Cruz nominated councilman Tadeo De La Hoya, who previously served as city manager for six years before his sudden, unexplained ousting from the role by the council in 2021, much to constituents’ chagrin. Cecilia Cruz, De La Hoya, and Javia Vargas voted against Torres. 

Torres pled guilty to ballot abuse last June following an October 2022 indictment for two felony charges of conspiracy and ballot abuse committed during the 2020 election. At the time, Torres was a member of the city council, having first been elected in 2000. 

The Yuma County Superior Court indictment charged Torres with harvesting seven early primary election ballots between July and August of 2020 from another woman, Nadia Lizarraga-Mayorquin (aka Nadia Buchanan). 

The court classified Torres’ crime as a class one misdemeanor rather than a class six felony. The misdemeanor may warrant either up to six months in jail or three years’ probation. Torres received a suspended sentence of 24 months of supervised probation last June. The court dismissed the felony charge of conspiracy. 

Caught in the media crossfire of Torres’ indictment was the local humanitarian nonprofit she’d worked at for over 30 years, Comite de Bien Estar (CBE). CDB has an annual revenue of over $12.7 million. 

In May 2022, officers served a search warrant to Torres at CBE, where Torres has served as a membership coordinator for over 30 years. The warrant sought only information from Torres, specifically a search of her home and confiscation of her phone, but wasn’t aimed at CBE. 

CBE’s executive director is Tony Reyes, a Democratic member of the Yuma County Board of Supervisors and its former chairman. Last year, CBE played host to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Marco Lopez: the former Nogales mayor discovered months earlier to be linked to an $800 million international political bribery scandal involving a construction conglomerate. 

In addition to CBE, Torres served on the National Association of Latino Election Officials (NALEO) and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. 

Another San Luis leader — former mayor Guillermina Fuentes, under whom Torres served — was likewise charged with ballot harvesting and remains under probation currently. Fuentes was sentenced to one month of jail and two years of probation in October 2022 for collecting and delivering four mail-in ballots.

Fuentes’ ballot harvesting was discovered from video footage taken by local residents monitoring a ballot drop box.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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