NJ Mail Carrier arrested for dumping mail including ballots
A postman in Hudson County, New Jersey was arrested and charged with obstruction of mail after dumping more than 1,000 pieces of mail, including ballots in a dumpster, US lawyer Craig Carpentino ad Wednesday, as letter carriers’ handling of election mail became a source of controversy ahead of the November election.
1,875 items of mail intended for delivery to residents of Orange and West Orange, New Jersey, between September 28 and October 2, were collected from dumpsters in West Orange and North Arlington, New Jersey, the October 2 and 5.
The rejected mail included 99 general election ballots for West Orange residents, as New Jersey automatically mailed all registered voters the ballots in the mail for the November election.
US Postal Service employee Nicholas Beauchene has been charged with one count of obstruction of mail and one count of delay, secretion or detention of mail, and will appear in court in Newark, New Jersey, Wednesday afternoon.
The discarded mail is now back in the mail stream and will be delivered to residents, the US attorney’s office said.
Delaying the mail carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000, while obstruction of the mail can result in up to six months in prison and a $ 5,000 fine.
The delivery and processing of mail is increasingly monitored ahead of the November elections, as new changes at the USPS under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump ally, have caused mail delays and fueled concerns about how the agency will handle postal voting. (DeJoy said election mail was the agency’s “number one priority” ahead of the election, and the changes are currently underway. be reversed.) A September incident in which bags of mail were dumped in parking lots in California has come under scrutiny amid the postal service controversy, although the Postal Workers’ Union mentionned no USPS employee was involved in the incident. Trump also cited factors in his baseless attacks on postal voting, speculating in June word that ballots could be stolen from letter carriers before asserting in the first presidential debate that postmen in West Virginia sold mail-in ballots and that the ballots were “thrown in the rivers.” West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that there has been no instance of any sale of ballot papers in the state, and although a state factor pleaded guilty to modifying several mail-in ballot requests, their actions did not had no impact on the ballots. Trump’s claim that mail is ‘thrown in rivers’ is referenced an incident in which mail was found at the side of a road in Greenville, Wisconsin. The local sheriff’s office confirmed that several missing ballots were among the rejected mail, but the Wisconsin Election Commission said no Wisconsin ballots were lost. There is no evidence of widespread or coordinated efforts by letter carriers to forge election mail.