WEST VIRGINIA – Thomas Cooper, a mail carrier in Pendleton County, has
admitted to attempted election fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell
Cooper, age 47, of Dry Fork, West Virginia, pled guilty to one count
of “Attempt to Defraud the Residents of West Virginia of a Fair
Election” and one count of “Injury to the Mail.” 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.
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. Cooper admitted today to altering some of the requests.
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.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.