A mail carrier in West Virginia now faces prison time after admitting to tampering with absentee ballots by changing the party affiliations.
The 47 year old carrier, Thomas Cooper, admitted to the fraudulent act after an affidavit was filed against him.
Cooper admitted to switching the residents’ ballot requests from Democratic to Republican ballots.
He has since entered a guilty plea of one count of attempting to defraud West Virginia residents of a fair election and another count of injury to mail.
Cooper, who tampered with eight different ballot requests, claimed he didn’t mean to cause any trouble and told investigators it was done “as a joke.”
The discovery was made in April, according to the Department of Justice, when the Clerk of Pendleton County reported that eight 2020 primary election absentee requests looked to have been changed using a black pen.
Scott Curnutte, Cooper’s attorney, Scott Curnutte, told BuzzFeed News that his clients behavior had been a “silly lark.”
Curnutte said, “He is deeply sorry for the implications for our democratic process. It should be remembered, however, that the mail he altered were requests for ballots, not ballots themselves.”
Cooper could face up to eight years in prison for the tampering but prosecutors agreed to call for a reduced sentence as part of the plea agreement.