West Virginia Secretary of State Andrew “Mac” Warner offered clarity on a case of voter fraud, which President Donald Trump cited as evidence of a larger problem during Tuesday’s debate.
The incident, which occurred in April, involved postal worker Thomas Cooper who altered eight primary mail-in ballot applications from “Democrat” to “Republican,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Cooper pleaded guilty in July to the charges and has been the only person implicated in fraud related to elections in West Virginia, Warner said in a statement Wednesday.
“The timely prosecution of election fraud in the 2020 Primary election cycle in West Virginia shows that we take election fraud seriously, that the system we have in place works well,” Warner said.
“Voters should be confident that this election will be safe, secure, and fair.”
Warner added that he shares Trump’s concerns about the potential for election fraud in an election with increased absentee ballot voting and universal mail-in voting, according to the statement. A record 76% of Americans will be able to vote by mail in the general election, The New York Times reported.
“Take a look at West Virginia. Mailmen, selling the ballots. They’re being sold. They’re being dumped in rivers. This is a horrible thing for our country,” Trump said during the first presidential debate on Tuesday, WSAZ reported.
Trump added: “This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen. You know, we might not know for months.”
Like Warner, Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin pushed back on Trump’s comments in a statement Wednesday calling the president’s comments “plain wrong.”
“There is no widespread voter fraud in West Virginia and any claim to the contrary is false,” Manchin said.
He continued: “The truth is one mail carrier altered five ballot request forms from Democrat to Republican in the primary election in Pendleton County. The judicial and electoral system worked: he was caught, charged with attempted election fraud and pled guilty.”
Author: Thomas Catenacci