Mail Carrier Switched Ballot Requests to Republican

Thomas Cooper, 47, of Dry Fork, West Virginia, faces prison time after admitting he changed party registration for ballot requests from Democrat to Republican.

Cooper signed an agreement to plead guilty to one count of attempting to defraud the residents of West Virginia of a fair election and one count of injury to the mail.

Prosecutors detailed how the county clerk found eight primary election mail-in requests for ballots appeared to have been altered. Knowing some of the voters were not Republicans, she checked with them to see what color pen they had used.

Cooper admitted to changing some of the ballots.

“[I did it] as a joke,” he said, according to the complaint. “[I] don’t even know them.”

Cooper faces up to eight years in prison for the joke, but prosecutors have agreed to a reduced sentence in the deal.

Cooper’s attorney said he had engaged in a “silly lark” and emphasized that the mail altered was requests for ballots, not ballots themselves.