Cochise County Woman Sentenced For Voter Fraud

Cochise County Woman Sentenced For Voter Fraud

By Corinne Murdock |

On Monday, a woman who voted for her dead mother during the 2020 election was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. The sentencing was consistent with other recent convictions of voter fraud this year.

The woman, 56-year-old Krista Michelle Conner of Cochise County, had her voter registration revoked, must pay $890 in fines, and serve 100 hours of community service. Conner submitted the ballot mailed to her mother, Caroline Jeanne Sullivan, who’d died one month before. That crime qualifies as a class 6 felony.

Cochise County Recorder David Stevens told the Arizona Daily Independent that the ballot wasn’t counted because Sullivan’s death was updated in the voter registration system prior to the ballot’s arrival. 

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office Election Integrity Unit (EIU) handled Conner’s case. The EIU was formed in 2019, and formed an online complaint form in the summer of 2020.

Other recent convictions of voter fraud this year include 70-year-old Marcia Johnson of Lake Havasu City, sentenced to one year probation for casting her dead father’s ballot in the 2018 election; 62-year-old Joseph John Marak of Surprise, sentenced to 30 months of supervised probation for voting as a felon six times since 2016; and 64-year-old Tracey Kay McKee of Scottsdale, sentenced to two years’ probation for voting for her dead mother in the 2020 election.

As AZ Free News reported earlier this month, an election integrity nonprofit recommended that the state clean up its voter rolls and cease no-excuse mail-in ballots to prevent further cases of fraud. Governor Doug Ducey vetoed a bill purging non-citizens and non-Arizonans from voter rolls. 

Earlier this year, the Arizona Republican Party sued Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and county recorders to challenge mailed ballots. A Mohave County judge ruled on Monday that no-excuse mail-in voting doesn’t violate the Arizona Constitution.

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

State Sues Feds Over Unconstitutional Tax Mandate

State Sues Feds Over Unconstitutional Tax Mandate

On Thursday, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an effort to challenge the Tax Mandate portion of the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Act threatens to penalize states by withholding federal COVID-19 relief funding if they lower taxes in any fashion, according to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

Thee state argues that the Tax Mandate of the Act is unconstitutional and threatens its sovereignty.

In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, the AGO argues the Tax Mandate is ambiguous and the Treasury has failed to provide Arizona with the proper assurances that states can continue to craft their own tax policies and budgets without fear of federal encroachment, even if those policies are unrelated to relief funds.

Arizona is asking the court to provide both declaratory and injunctive relief.

The Tax Mandate of the Act forbids states from using the relief funds to “directly or indirectly offset a reduction in… net tax revenues.”

The AGO also argues the Tax Mandate represents an “unprecedented intrusion on the separate sovereignty of the States through federal overreach. The Tax Mandate undermines democratic accountability by empowering current governors in ways that violate separation of powers. Because the Act funds are available until 2024, a single governor could bind both the state legislature and a successor governor from providing any tax relief in the future. This would be a clear intrusion by Congress upon the democratic structures of the States.”