USPS Official Charged with Fraud for Tampering with Vote-by-Mail Requests
U.S. Postal Service mail carrier arrested in West Virginia, prosecutors announce
A U.S. Postal Service official has been charged with fraud in West Virginia over allegations of tampering with mail-in ballot requests.
Federal and state prosecutors announced Tuesday that a USPS mail carrier has been arrested.
The postal worker was allegedly tampering with requests for vote-by-mail absentee ballots, prosecutors revealed.
The news comes as Democrats and the media continue to push for nationwide mail-in voting ahead of the November elections.
In an unprecedented move, social media platform Twitter even flagged President Donald Trump's criticisms of the push as "unsubstantiated" and warned users his comments were "misleading."
The president accused Twitter of "interfering in the 2020 presidential election" and vowed that he "will not allow it to happen!"
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell, and Secretary of State Mac Warner said a joint statement:
"Thomas Cooper, 47, of Dry Fork, stands charged with attempting to defraud the residents of West Virginia of a fair election.
"An affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint states Cooper fraudulently altered eight absentee ballot requests in Pendleton County, of which the complaint states he fraudulently changed the party affiliation on five from Democrat to Republican.
“Manipulating one’s absentee ballot or application is not a laughing matter – it’s a federal offense,” Attorney General Morrisey said.
“We must protect the integrity of the ballot box, and this demonstrates the aggressive action we will take to do so.
"It is more important now than ever for voters to watch for unexplained or suspicious marks and/or any other irregularity with their ballot.
"If something looks suspicious, let us know right away.”
The affidavit states Cooper accessed the ballot requests through his employment as a rural mail carrier.
He was responsible for mail delivery in the three towns from which the tampered requests were mailed – Onego, Riverton, and Franklin.
According to the affidavit, Cooper admitted to altering some of the requests.
Local news station WTRF reported that the attempted fraud had been caught before it affected the election itself.