West Virginia: What a mail carrier says was a small, joking attempt at voter fraud shows just how closely officials are watching | Kelly Mena and Rebekah Riess/CNN
A case of alleged election fraud that a West Virginia mail carrier says was a joking attempt to alter ballot requests shows just how closely local and federal officials are watching. According to a complaint written by an investigator working for the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, Thomas Cooper, 47, of Dry Fork, West Virginia, and a mail carrier for Pendleton County, was joking when he altered ballot requests sent by some people on his delivery route, changing their party affiliations from Democrat to Republican. The complaint goes on to note that the local clerk knew the people named on the ballot requests weren’t Republicans and gave them a call. The revelation launched an investigation by the West Virginia Election Fraud Task Force, led by assistant US attorneys from the Northern and Southern districts of West Virginia, special agents from the FBI and investigators from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, and an attempted election fraud charge against Cooper. US Attorney Bill Powell announced on the charge on Tuesday.