A mail carrier in Pendleton County, West Virginia, was charged with attempted election fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced on Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, Thomas Cooper, 47, of Dry Fork, West Virginia, was charged with “Attempt to Defraud the Residents of West Virginia of a Fair Election” by altering mail-in ballots before they ended up in the hands of the election officials.
The Clerk of Pendleton County received “2020 Primary Election COVID-19 Mail-In Absentee Request” forms that seemed to have been tampered with and an investigation was ordered.
According to the U.S. Attorney:
The clerk reported the finding to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, which began an investigation. The investigation found five ballot requests that had been altered from “Democrat” to “Republican.” On three other requests, the party wasn’t changed, but the request had been altered.
Cooper was responsible for the mail delivery of the three towns from which the tampered requests were mailed: Onego, Riverton, and Franklin, West Virginia. According to the affidavit, Cooper admitted to altering some of the requests, saying it was a joke.
The complaint was filed after an investigation by the West Virginia Election Fraud Task Force, led by Assistant United States Attorneys from both the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and investigators from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.
Now, isn’t this exactly the sort of fraud that Republicans have warned about with mail-in ballots?
This is the exact problem with mail-in ballots. Simply anyone can interdict them before they get to the election offices and they can be altered.
It doesn’t have to be a mailman. It really could be anyone who wants to start poking around in people’s mailboxes when they know ballots are going out.
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