Mail carrier guilty of election fraud after altering ballot requests

dublinbay z6 (KS)

I'm beginning to see why Repubs are so set on weeding out voter fraud. Turns out most of the weeds are in their own plots.

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"A West Virginia postal carrier pled guilty to mail and election fraud after admitting he changed the political affiliation on multiple voter ballots from Democrat to Republican.

Thomas Cooper, 47, admitted to attempted election fraud and injury to the mail Thursday after an affidavit was filed against him in May.

Cooper held a contract with the U.S. Postal Service to pick up mail in three towns in Pendleton County.

In April, per a statement from the Department of Justice, the county clerk found absentee ballot requests from eight voters that were tampered with a black ink pen, five of which had their party affiliation switched to Republican. Three others that had their affiliation already set to Republican were altered, but did not have their political party changed. All ballots were located in Pendleton County.

Bennie Cogar, a West Virginia Attorney General's Office investigator working on behalf of the secretary of state's office, said in the affidavit filed in May that Cooper admitted to having tampered with some of the requests he delivered "as a joke." He did not know any of the voters whose requests he changed.

Despite ongoing accusations about mail-in voter fraud, including those by President Trump, cases have been minimal — and Trump himself has voted absentee. State leaders from both parties have granted more absentee ballots to residents during the coronavirus pandemic."


https://news.yahoo.com/west-virginia-mail-carrier-guilty-104244819.html

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The irony is, of course, that the dozen or so ballots this Cooper guy changed are not likely to change the outcome of any election, but he will pay the price anyway, I suspect.

Kate


ETA: Correction: Cooper, not Cogar.

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Comments (22)
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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Hasn't Mr Cooper heard that trump wants to eliminate his job?....I guess he couldn't wait so took action himself.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

I fail to see why this man would even risk doing what he did. I assume this was for a primary. When a democrat gets a republican ballot, does he really think the democrat is going to say "well okay I guess I'll vote for the repulican?". This guy risks jail time for his stupid little "joke" and it's going to cost him. Attorneys aren't cheap.

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KarenS, NYC

Trump's entire family voted absentee.

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Iris GW

Oh, not a Republican!

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sjerin

When a democrat gets a republican ballot, does he really think the
democrat is going to say "well okay I guess I'll vote for the
repulican?".


Would there have been enough time to request the proper ballot, before the primary?

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Good question, sjerin.

Kate

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elvis

It doesn't matter which party this involves, it's fraud. I'm glad he's caught. For those who say it doesn't happen, there you go: another example that it does indeed happen.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

I suspect a quick call to the Dept of Elections would get you another ballot. I am suspecting that's how they discovered the "joke". Also there might be a place on the ballot where you can write someone in. I just don't know.

Federal

Because the United States Postal Service is a federal agency, mailboxes are considered federal property, and mail theft is charged as a federal offense. If you are charged with mail theft, you could face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000. It is also a crime to injure, deface or destroy any mail deposited in a mailbox. For each act of vandalism, you could be imprisoned for up to three years and fined up to $250,000. Depending on the manner in which the mail theft is committed, you could face other criminal charges, such as assault, and breaking and entering. If personal identifying information, such as names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, tax I.D. numbers, social security numbers and driver’s license numbers, was stolen you could also face identity theft charges.


State

§3-9-1. False or fraudulent returns; tampering with, destroying or misdelivering ballots, records, etc.; forgeries; aiding, etc., in offense; penalties.

Every person named and identified in this section, who shall violate any of the provisions of the election laws as herein specified, shall be deemed guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than ten years:


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lurker111

does he really think the democrat is going to say "well okay I guess I'll vote for the repulican?".

Isn't it strange how republicans who voted for Trump also voted for crats for the house and senate? Amazing!

The crats have nothing to vote for except a crook and his son. Not by choice, again. You get what they allow you to have.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

"For those who say it doesn't happen, there you go: another example that it does indeed happen."

No one claims it never happens, but rather, rarely happens, or not to any significant degree--which is to say, not remotely close enough to make any real difference in the election outcome.

Kate

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daisychain01

with anything, you have to look at the two possible outcomes And see which is worse. My understanding is that there is a high percentage of voters who want to vote but can’t unless it is done by mail. On the other hand, if you do allow mailed ballots, a small percentage may tampered with. It seems to make logical sense to allow it. Especially if you also take into account that there is also going to be a small amount of fraud with in person voting.

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adoptedbyhounds

"It doesn't matter which party this involves, it's fraud."

Yes. Fraud is not OK. Doesn't matter who it benefits.


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deegw

Blah, blah, blah, fraud, blah, blah. In Colorado, we can vote in person, mail it in or drive up and drop it in a box. It's not brain surgery. Very few instances of fraud.

If your party platform is so great and you think that everyone is thrilled with the direction of the country, why wouldn't you want every possible way to vote?

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Our whole system has led many election experts to call the Centennial State one of the safer places to vote. “The people that study this stuff put Colorado near the top of the list in terms of managing elections,” says David Kimball, a professor at University of Missouri–St. Louis and one of the country’s leading election administration scholars. It’s even helped the state’s turnout consistently outpace national numbers: Nearly 60 percent of eligible voting age adults in Colorado participated in the 2018 midterms compared to just 48 percent nationwide. More people also participated in the 2020 presidential primary than in any primary in the state’s history.

https://www.5280.com/2020/05/no-fraud-isnt-rampant-in-colorados-mail-in-voting-system/

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Ziemia(6a)

Fraud happens even with IDs.

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dandyfopp

What a self own.




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colleenoz

I’m curious (and puzzled)- what do US postal votes look like? Here in Oz postal voting is very common but you receive voting papers which list all the candidate. You then either tick the party affiliation box (the parties do deals amongst themselves as to what order they will be ranked depending on which party box is ticked, which order is known to the voters), or you number the candidates in the order of your personal preference. Then the papers are placed in a pre-adressed envelope which is sealed and posted.

Mail collectors do not collect outgoing mail from private mail boxes, they only deliver it. For outgoing mail you have to drop it in a public mail box. For far outback stations (ranches) the Mail guys do collect outgoing mail.

But there’s no way to tell who voted which way from the outside of the envelope.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Coleen, in the US every State is different since the constitution gives the power to organize and oversee elections to the states so my state had a totally different ballot than any other. I am in Washington State (Pacific North West) and we mail our ballots in these days. No way to change anything as it is in sealed envelopes coming and going. We can put our ballot in our mail box, take it to the Post Office, a PO box or to any of a number of ballot boxes. During votes there is a box next to the PO box outside of our Post Office. Talk about choices.

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Ann

I'd be just fine if we did away with all mail in voting!

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I'd be just fine if we did away with all mail in voting!

We would be disenfranchising so many people who are unable to travel to polling places -- the disabled, shut-ins, those with mobility issues, etc.

Also affected would be those living outside the country -- included the military -- or working when the polls are open, or unable to take time off such as healthcare workers during a pandemic.


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Ann

Nancy, I did say "all" in my very brief comment, but I completely agree with your point. There would need to be exceptions for the types of groups you are describing and I'd be very supportive of that - with voter ID and a well thought out (and secure) mail in plan for people in those exception categories.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

I think we should go to ONLY mail in voting. In Florida, you get a ballot which you mark. It goes inside a green privacy sleeve and place in an envelope addressed to the department of elections in the county where you reside. You seal the envelope and ink your correct signature over the seal. Then you either mail it or take it down to the Supervisor of Elections office and put it in the box (which is what we like to do).

The penalty for election fraud is very steep so people try to commit it are stupid indeed.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Since mail in voting has proven to be safe in the states that use it why not do the non stupid thing and have people vote by mail in a pandemic rather than having them risk their lives on the off chance a hand full of people will try to cheat?

Ann if you had your way the president would have to be flown at tremendous expense to Florida to vote. Or does he get an exception? Start racking up the exceptions and next thing you know the polls are open only for you.

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