DOJ charges mail carrier with attempted voter fraud, and it’s only the tip of the hidden iceberg

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Late Tuesday, Twitter added CNN/Washington Post fact-checks to tweets posted by President Donald Trump in which he’d outlined some of the risks associated with mail-in voting.

According to the fact-checks, the president’s tweets were “unsubstantiated,” and “there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.”

Yet within hours of the fact-checks being added to the president’s tweets, the Department of Justice announced that a West Virginia letter carrier had been charged with attempting to commit election fraud.

“Thomas Cooper, a mail carrier in Pendleton County, was charged today in a criminal complaint with attempted election fraud,” the DOJ announced late Tuesday.

“According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, Cooper held a U.S. Postal Service contract to deliver mail in Pendleton County. In April 2020, the Clerk of Pendleton County received ‘2020 Primary Election COVID-19 Mail-In Absentee Request’ forms from eight voters on which the voter’s party-ballot request appeared to have been altered.”

A subsequent investigation by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office found that Cooper had indeed purposefully altered all eight ballots.

In a statement delivered following the DOJ’s announcement, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner reportedly urged the public to be vigilant for potential fraud and noted,  much in contradiction to Twitter’s fact-check, that absentee voting — which is a form of mail-in voting — “increases opportunities for irregularities and fraud to occur.”

The announcement from the DOJ and statement from Warner came soon after Twitter chose to fact-check the following tweets posted by the president:

But it’s not even as if the incident in West Virginia is the only example of voting fraud linked to mail-in ballots. The examples are numerous.

The Heritage Foundation maintains a database of “proven instances of voter fraud” that contained nearly 1,300 incidents as of late May 2020, including several from this year alone.

“Jentry Jasperson, of Pacifica, forged signatures for a referendum iniative and paid a $5 fee per signature,” one case from this year reads. “She was reported to have forged over 100 signatures, most of which were actual country residents.”

“Peterson was charged with 10 counts of perjury by declaration, 5 counts of identity theft, and 5 counts of signing fictious or forged names to a petition. She pleaded guilty to 2 counts of perjury by declaration, a felony, and was sentenced to 2 years in county jail.”

Search the database for yourself here, or read the Heritage Foundation’s printed report for 2019 below:

Attempted mail-in voter fraud is a nationwide phenomenon.

“A state investigation in Palm Beach County found clear-cut evidence of voter fraud in last year’s August primary election,” Miami station WLRN reported during the summer of 2017. “Investigators with the State Attorney’s Office found more than 20 forged signatures on request forms for absentee ballots.”

“They investigated the case over the past year, but could not identify a suspect. In some instances, voters said they received an absentee ballot in the mail without ever filling out a request form.”

Around that same time, The Palm Beach Post confirmed that two Democrats, current Commissioner Mack Bernard and Rep. Al Jacquet who’d run in the August 2016 primary had taken “advantage of gaping holes in Florida’s vote-by-mail laws to pressure and cajole voters in their living rooms.” And in some cases, the two filled out and even signed the voters’ ballots for them.

According to former W. Bush-era DOJ official J. Christian Adams, currently of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, there are two primary forms of fraud that he’s seen perpetrated through mail-in voting.

“Number one, are the sort of things we discovered in the Justice Department when I was there — of people voting the ballot for other people through undue influence. That’s the first one. The second one — the voter rolls are a mess,” he reportedly said last month.

“Adams’ organization has sued several states and counties for refusing to maintain accurate voter rolls, allowing the names of thousands of dead voters, felons and non-citizens to remain in the system,” the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time.

“Messy voter rolls make election fraud much easier, Adams says. The foundation is currently suing Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, for allowing the same person to register to vote seven times.”

“It’s the exact same name, the exact same date of birth,” he said of the person who’d registered to vote seven times. “In a vote by mail scheme, they’ll mail seven ballots.”

As of late May, it wasn’t clear if election officials had removed the extra registrations yet. What was known without a shadow of a doubt was that, according to Twitter’s dubious fact-checkers, such forms of blatant voter fraud don’t even exist.

Fact-check: FALSE.


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