A former US Postal Service worker in Kentucky has been charged "with the delay or destruction of mail," the US Department of Justice announced on Monday.
DeShawn Bojgere, 30, of Louisville, is accused of discarding "approximately" 111 ballots in a construction dumpster in early to mid-October.
If convicted, Bojgere faces up to five years in prison a $250,000 fine.
The Justice Department said all of the recovered mail was being delivered.
A former US Postal Service worker in Kentucky has been accused of throwing away "approximately" 111 absentee ballots along with other mail in a construction dumpster.
The US Department of Justice on Monday said DeShawn Bojgere, 30, of Louisville, had been charged with the delay or destruction of mail after telling federal authorities he was responsible for discarding the mail. If convicted, Bojgere faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
A criminal complaint accuses Bojgere of dumping a "large quantity" of mail sometime between October 5 and October 15. The mail was discovered in a construction dumpster in Louisville. In addition to more than 100 absentee ballots that had been sent from the Jefferson County Clerk's Office to voters to fill out, the discarded mail also contained about 70 pieces of flat-rate mail, 320 pieces of second-class mail, and "two national election campaign flyers from a political party in Florida," according to US Attorney Russell Coleman's office.
The discarded mail had been from a single day and the same route, the Justice Department said. Copies of the mail were made for evidence in the case, but the original copies were eventually sent back into delivery, the Justice Department said.
"Especially in these times, Americans depend on the reliability and integrity of those that deliver the US Mail," Coleman said in a press release. "Conduct by Postal employees that violates that duty will result in swift federal prosecution."
Despite evidence mail-in voting is largely safe and secure, President Donald Trump has for months launched attacks on the Postal Service and states' efforts to encourage voters to cast ballots by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, the president once again attacked mail-in voting, claiming in a tweet — without evidence — that there were "big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA." In response, Twitter labeled the tweet as potentially misleading and stopped other users from sharing it.
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