A mailman was arrested Wednesday in New Jersey for discarding mail, including 99 ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election, USA Today reported.
Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, Hudson, is charged with delaying, secreting, or detaining mail. He also faces a charge of mail obstruction.
On Oct. 2 and 5, officials recovered approximately 1,875 pieces of mail from North Arlington and West Orange landfills.
The items included 627 pieces of first-class mail, 873 pieces of standard class mail, and two certified mail pieces.
Also recovered were 99 general election ballots for West Orange residents, and 276 campaign flyers from local candidates for the West Orange City Council and Board of Education.
Beauchene was the only U.S. Postal Service of New Jersey letter carrier to deliver all of these mailings on the scheduled dates of Sept. 28, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, 2020, to postal route addresses in Orange and West Orange.
The mail delay charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An obstruction of mail charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
According to the officials, the recovered mail will be placed back on the appropriate route for further delivery to the recipients.
The disposal of the 99 mail ballots is less than a month away from the presidential election. President Donald Trump has warned on several occasions that the mail voting process left several gaps that could lead to fraud and illegalities. Meanwhile, this system has been defended by Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
In fact, in recent weeks, several situations have emerged that exposed the weakness of this mechanism.
In Georgia, an investigation was opened into nearly 1,000 cases of double voting that apparently occurred in 100 counties during the June primary and August run-off elections.
Wayne County, Michigan, also reported problems with mail ballots in the Aug. 4 primary election.
In the recent Nevada primary, media and social networks showed images of ballots piled up on the sidewalk.
New York City was forced to reject tens of thousands of ballots because of various irregularities in its own primary elections.
More recently, authorities in Minnesota and Texas began investigating allegations of systematic ballot fraud—including vote-buying and falsification—for the benefit of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.