A mail carrier in West Virginia is facing jail time after he was caught tampering with absentee ballot requests in a way that suppressed turnout in local Democratic primary elections.
BuzzFeed News reports that 47-year-old Thomas Cooper pleaded guilty this week to attempting to defraud the residents of West Virginia of a fair election when he switched West Virginia residents' ballot requests from Democratic to Republican ballots.
Cooper altered a total of eight different ballot requests, although he told investigators that he did it "as a joke" and didn't mean to cause any harm. Cooper's attorney, Scott Curnutte, similarly told BuzzFeed News that Cooper's actions had just been a "silly lark."
"He is deeply sorry for the implications for our democratic process," Curnutte said. "It should be remembered, however, that the mail he altered were requests for ballots, not ballots themselves."
Cooper faces up to eight years in prison for his actions.