Nicholas Beauchene Kearny NJ man caught dumping more than 1,800 pieces of mail, including 99 ballots for the upcoming election intended for households in heavily Democratic areas.
A postal employee in New Jersey dumped more than 1,800 pieces of mail, including 99 ballots for the upcoming election, that were intended for households in heavily Democratic areas, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, faced charges with the delay secretion, or detention and obstruction of mail.
If convicted of delay of mail, thee postal worker faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A conviction for obstruction of mail carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The approximately 1,875 pieces of discarded mail were recovered from trash dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange on Friday and Monday, prosecutors said in a release.
‘…kind of stuff you just can’t make up’
It had been scheduled to be delivered to addresses on certain postal routes in Orange and West Orange on Sept. 28, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, 2020.
In addition to the election ballots for residents in West Orange, prosecutors said 276 campaign flyers from candidates for the West Orange Council and for the school board also were recovered.
Prosecutors said Beauchene was the only mail carrier assigned to deliver to the addresses on the delivery dates.
The recovered mail was placed back into the mail stream for delivery.
Orange and West Orange are suburban townships located in Essex County, New Jersey.
Howard Dinger of Saddle Brook notified police of the find on Friday the dailyvoice reports.
‘Just found two to 300 lb of mail dumped in a dumpster behind one of the banks I service. Including at least 200 ballots,’ Dinger posted on Facebook last Friday. ‘This is the kind of stuff you just can’t make up. And yes it was reported to the local police and the postal police.’
Postal worker charged after nearly 2,000 pieces of mail, including ballots, found in trash
U.S. Attorney Sara Merin said Nicholas Beauchene admitted to dumping the mail, though there was “no indication that there was any political motive.”
— soccerman (@soccerm00956420) October 8, 2020
No political motive?
In 2016, Essex County voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, who received 240,837 votes.
Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump, received just 63,176 votes in the county. Clinton won New Jersey by 55 per cent to 41 per cent for Trump.
Of note, Beauchene’s Facebook page does not indicate any overt support for one political candidate the dailymail reports.
New Jersey is one of many states that are allowing voters to mail in their ballots due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal judge in New Jersey declined on Tuesday to grant a preliminary injunction sought by the Trump campaign to stop New Jersey’s mail-in ballot program.
In a filing last month, the campaign said the program violated the Constitution and would ‘establish conditions likely to incentivize and facilitate the same kind of fraud and confusion that have plagued New Jersey elections for years.’
Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation in August that allowed election officials to begin counting mail-in ballots 10 days before Election Day and accept un-postmarked ballots up to two days afterward.
The GOP sued New Jersey in August, calling the state’s plan to send mail-in ballots to its more than 6 million registered voters ‘a brazen power grab’ by Murphy that created the possibility of widespread voter fraud.
The postal worker’s arrest comes as the two major political parties are embroiled in dozens of lawsuits across the country over issues including mail-in ballots, ballot drop boxes, witness requirements and time extensions for voting and for counting ballots.
No motive for Beauchene’s alleged crimes were listed in his criminal complaint.