Pendleton County mail carrier sentenced in election fraud case

ELKINS, W.Va. — A Pendleton County mail carrier was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty last year to election fraud charges.

Thomas Cooper, 48, of Dry Fork admitted last year to altering eight ballot request forms ahead of West Virginia’s primary election. The party affiliation on five forms was changed from Democrat to Republican.

Cooper was responsible for delivering mail in the areas where the altered forms were delivered. He pleaded guilty in July 2020 to attempt to defraud the residents of West Virginia of a fair election and injury to the mail.

Cooper was sentenced Monday to five years of probation, which includes six months in home confinement.

“This conviction and sentencing should serve as a strong warning to anyone else who feels tempted to commit election fraud,” state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “As we have stressed in the past, our team remains committed to protecting the integrity of elections in West Virginia. We will use every means provided by the law to do so.”

A Pendleton County election official noticed the alterations and reported the issue to the state’s Election Fraud Task Force.

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