A New Jersey mail carrier has been arrested for allegedly dumping mail that included blank ballots being mass-mailed to residents as part of New Jersey’s voting by mail plan.
“Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail,” according to a Wednesday news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. “He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.”
The release said that Beauchene was the only letter carrier covering the routes affected on the days mail that went missing should have been delivered.
Authorities unearthed a stash of mail from dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange. The trove included 99 blank general election ballots, the release said.
Overall, about 1,875 pieces of mail — including 627 pieces of first-class mail — were recovered, the release said.
“To have that all go in the trash like that was, in my mind, really ridiculous,” Howard Dinger of North Arlington, who found dozens of blank ballots when he opened up a dumpster to throw out trash, told WCBS-TV.
“The ballots are the ballots. The election is the election. It is what it is. But these people have legal notices and checks and God knows what they’re expecting,” Dinger said.
The recovered mail was later sent out to its intended destinations.
“I said, man, this thing is soaking wet. It must’ve been out in water, in pond or something,” said West Orange resident Julian Williams, whose ballot was among those in one of the dumpsters.
“I couldn’t believe it. I thought that the security as far as the mail system and stuff like that was better than that. I didn’t think anybody would take something and throw it by a dumpster or anything like that, especially since it’s from the government,” Williams said.
The undelivered mail was only one of the issues this week in New Jersey.
About 7,000 Teaneck voters received mail-in ballots Monday that listed the incorrect congressional candidate, according to WCBS. New ballots are coming for those residents.
Despite warnings from President Donald Trump that the mass mailing of ballots is a recipe for fraud and disaster, many states are sending ballots out to every registered voter.
Wow! 100,000 Mail In Ballots in New York City a total MESS. Mayor and Governor have no idea what to do. Big Fraud, Unfixable! Cancel Ballots and go out and VOTE, just like in past decades, when there were no problems!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2020
Mass mail-in voting has experienced some hiccups along the way. In New York City, about 100,000 ballots had to be re-sent after a printer error mixed up addresses, according to the New York Post.
In Wisconsin last month, several trays of mail that included ballots were found dumped in a ditch.
The delay of mail charge against Beauchene can result in a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The obstruction of mail charge can carry a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.