A New Jersy postal worker was arrested after it was found that he is likely guilty of dumping mail in a dumpster. Included in that mail were mail-in ballots that were supposed to be delivered to local voters.
According to Fox5 New York, the mail carrier was arrested on Wednesday for discarding “a large amount of mail, including general election ballots.”
In an announcement from federal prosecutors it was reported that the U.S. Postal Service worker Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny is being brought up on charges related to the “1,875 pieces of mail he was supposed to deliver – including 627 pieces of first-class, 873 pieces of standard class, two pieces of certified mail, 99 general election ballots destined for residents in West Orange, and 276 campaign flyers from local candidates for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education – were recovered from dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange on Oct. 2, 2020, and Oct. 5, 2020.
After the discovery of the discarded mail, the items were copied for evidence and sent back out for delivery. The postal worker admitted to dumping the mail but has since insisted that it was not a political move, according to Fox 5 New York.
“He faces one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail,” the local news outlet reported. “He was scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon in Newark federal court. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mail-in voting has been a key issue in the upcoming election, because not only is this a historically close race, but it’s one that’s being carried out during what many consider to be a pandemic.
This arrest came just days before a New Jersey federal judge rejected the Trump campaign’s challenge to the state’s mail-in voting plans, according to Fox News.
“In a Tuesday opinion, Judge Michael Shipp denied the campaign’s request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the state acted within its authority to issue the rules,” Fox News reported.
“Although federal law prohibits New Jersey from canvassing ballots cast after Election Day, it is within New Jersey’s discretion to choose its methods of determining the timeliness of ballots, so long as there is no appreciable risk of canvassing untimely ballots,” the court’s ruling said.
The judge in the case indicated that he believes his ruling to be in support of the health and wellness of New Jersey’s citizens in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
He stated that decisions regarding “the safety and health of the people” are, he believes, constitutionally entrusted to elected officials. He went on to say that the campaign didn’t “demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm that it would suffer should the rules be upheld,” Fox News reported.
The decision was lauded by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbur Grewal:
“A major victory for New Jersey’s voters! Today, a federal judge rejected a challenge to NJ’s new elections laws,” Grewal tweeted Tuesday according to Fox. “As your AG, I will keep fighting for your right to vote and your right to remain healthy. You shouldn’t have to choose.”
Fox News reached out to the Trump campaign for comment but it did not immediately respond.
President Donald Trump, who was one of the first proponents of working to close international travel when COVID-19 first became prevalent in the United States, has since reversed his position on the need to shut down the nation and reminded Americans that the survival rate of this particular strain of coronavirus is better than that of the seasonal flu.
The president has also been adamant that pushing for mail-in voting versus in-person voting has a much larger margin for fraud.