Letter carrier in West Virginia charged with attempted election fraud

DOJ has charged the individual with one count of attempted election tampering

Updated: May 27, 2020 - 10:59am

Federal prosecutors say a West Virginia letter carrier committed election fraud by altering party affiliations on requests for absentee ballots.

In April, the clerk of Pendleton County received eight requests that appeared to be altered. Five of them had been changed from Democrat to Republican, all done in black pen.

Thomas Cooper, who is responsible for mail delivery from the three towns of Onego, Franklin and Riverton, from which the altered requests were sent, admitted to changing the requests, saying his actions were intended as a joke.

The Office of the U.S. attorney announced Tuesday that it has charged Cooper with one count of election tampering, under a statute that imposes criminal penalties for anyone who “attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process.”

The expansion of the mail-in ballot system has been cause for debate in D.C., as lawmakers contemplate how to proceed with the November election in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In the past days, President Trump and other Republican lawmakers have taken to twitter to espouse the view that increased absentee ballot voting will lead to more instances of voter fraud across the nation.

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