President Trump says WV mailmen sold ballots; WVSOS clarifies President Trump’s remarks

West Virginia

Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF)- During the first of three Presidential debates, President Trump says West Virginia mailmen sold ballots.

Moderator Chris Wallace asked the President, “Now that millions of mail in ballots have gone out, what are you going to do about it?”

“You either do, Chris, a solicited ballot where you are sending it they are sending it back and you’re sending. They have mailmen with lots of- did you see what’s going on. Take a look at West Virginia, mailmen selling the ballots. They are being sold. They are being dumped in rivers. This is a horrible thing for our country,” said President Trump during the debates.

At this current time, there have been no reports of any incidents of ballots sold by WV mailmen during the 2020 election.

There was an incident in May where a mail carrier was charged and plead guilty in a West Virginia ballot fraud investigation.

An affidavit claims he “fraudulently altered eight absentee ballot requests in Pendleton County,” by changing the party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. 

WV Senator, Joe Manchin,  released the following statement after President Trump claimed West Virginia has widespread voter fraud issues.

It’s plain wrong that President Trump would mislead Americans to think mail-in voter fraud is happening in West Virginia. There is no widespread voter fraud in West Virginia and any claim to the contrary is false. The truth is one mail carrier altered five ballot request forms from Democrat to Republican in the primary election in Pendleton County. The judicial and electoral system worked: he was caught, charged with attempted election fraud and pled guilty. Mail-in voting is safe and altering ballots is a felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison and a $20,000 fine in West Virginia, in addition to any federal penalty. To suggest anything different is just not true and an attempt to undermine Americans’ faith in our Democratic process and disparage West Virginia is wrong

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Secretary of State Warner stated he shares the President’s concern over the potential for increased election fraud with the increase in absentee voting and in those vote-by-mail-only states. However, Warner said states can mitigate the increase in possible election fraud by developing strategies to deter, investigate and prosecute those who attempt to cheat.

“We have conducted extensive training with clerks and election officials, covering everything from cyber security, to continuity of operations, to preventing and detecting fraud. This was a prime example of a dedicated clerk, closely watching her election process, and quickly reporting an anomaly as she had been trained to do. The system worked, and we were able to rapidly assure the voters of West Virginia that the election was secure,” Warner said.

Ahead of the primary election in West Virginia, Secretary Warner organized an election anti-fraud task force. This includes West Virginia’s U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the WV Attorney General, the WV State Police, local law enforcement and the Secretary of State investigations team. There is also a toll free number for people to call in suspected election fraud, 1-877-FRAUD-WV (877-372-8688)

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