NJ letter carrier arrested for allegedly discarding ballots, other mail
A Postal Service mail carrier in New Jersey was arrested Wednesday for allegedly discarding mail, including 99 general election ballots.
Nicholas Beauchene was charged with one count of delay, secretion or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the delay charge, and up to six months in prison and a $6,000 fine for obstruction.
The discarded ballots were addressed to residents of West Orange, N.J., U.S. Attorney Craig Carpentino said.
According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, approximately 1,875 pieces of mail were recovered from dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange between Oct. 2 and Oct. 5. They were slated for delivery in Orange and West Orange.
Prosecutors allege that Beauchene was the only mail carrier assigned to deliver to those addresses. He is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Newark federal court.
Aside from the ballots, prosecutors said 627 pieces of first class mail, 873 pieces of standard class, two pieces of certified mail, and 276 campaign flyers for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education candidates were recovered.
An attorney for Beauchene was not identified in court documents.
Mail-in voting is under intense scrutiny this year, with more Americans casting their ballots by mail due to coronavirus concerns.
President Trump has repeatedly alleged that mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud, despite there being no evidence to support the claim.
The White House recently highlighted a handful of discarded ballots in Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) said there was no “intentional fraud” involved.
The Trump campaign sued New Jersey in August seeking to overturn Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) executive order requiring every voter in the state receive mail-in ballots, in addition to being allowed to vote in person.
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