The U.S. Department of Justice charged a West Virginia mail carrier Thomas Cooper for attempted election fraud on Tuesday, a press release stated.
Thomas Cooper, 47, was responsible for altering ballots by changing voters’ registered parties, according to the DOJ. He admitted to it, saying it was a joke after the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office conducted an investigation.
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Thomas Cooper, a mail carrier in Pendleton County, was charged today in a criminal complaint with attempted election fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.
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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General investigated.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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