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Gadsden school board recall effort withdrawn

SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The recall effort launched against three Gadsden Elementary School District board members has been withdrawn.

Resident Gary Snyder, who started collecting signatures in March, said in a statement sent to News 11 Thursday: 

After careful consideration of recalled signees’ protection and privileged information I have received, I have decided to withdraw the recall packets and let the legal system take its course of action towards the board members, who they will soon be legally removed and therefore save the taxpayers and school districts money. I want to thank everyone who signed and gathered signatures for the unification of our city and schools. The taxpayers’ money is better spent in our local classrooms rather than out of state meetings or recalls. The Attorney General combined with the Legal System will make sure Justice is served for the education & children.

Gary Snyder

The recall listed board members Rosa Varela, Gloria Torres and Guillermina Fuentes. Snyder had until July 12 to collect 1,237 signatures from recalling all three women. When asked via email, he said he had gathered all the signatures but still did not want to move forward with the recall.

No word on exactly how many signatures he gathered at the time this article was published.

RELATED STORY: Recall effort targets Gadsden school board members

In December, a grand jury indicted Fuentes on ballot harvesting charges and San Luis resident Alma Juarez. Each is facing one count of ballot abuse.

The indictment alleges that during the August 2020 Primary Election, Fuentes and Juarez knowingly collected four voted ballots from another person, violating an Arizona voting law that the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld.

According to the indictment, the early ballots were deposited into a ballot box on Election Day and processed and counted by the Yuma County Recorder. Arizona law only provides for a family member, household member, or caregiver of the voter to collect voted or unvoted early ballots from another person.

Ballot abuse under Arizona law is a class 6 felony, and each defendant faces up to two years in prison and a $150,000 fine.  

RELATED STORY: San Luis residents accused of “ballot harvesting”

Snyder said he was targeting San Luis city councilwoman Gloria Torres and board member, Rosa Varela because of their political ties to Fuentes.

Fuentes and Juarez were scheduled to be in court July 1, but the hearing was once again pushed back, this time to August 12.

As Seen on TV / News / Video / Yuma County / Yuma Education

KYMA News Team

Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

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