Pennsylvania postal worker admits his claim of ballot tampering wasn’t true

Richard Hopkins's claim that he was instructed to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day was cited by Republicans as evidence of voter fraud

A postal worker in Pennsylvania, whose claim of ballot tampering was touted by Republicans as evidence of voter fraud, now admits it was all a lie.

Richard Hopkins said that he was instructed by a postmaster in Erie, Pa., to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day. His claim was cited by GOP officials as the most credible evidence of voter fraud, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham who wrote a letter to the Justice Department calling for a federal investigation, reports the Washington Post.

Read More: After judge’s order, Postal Service sweep finds only 13 ballots

USPS Pauses Mailbox Removals After Customer Concern
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Attorney General William Barr later authorized federal prosecutors to launch probes into allegations of voting irregularities and fraud. Barr’s decision was widely slammed by Democrats and department officials incensed that Barr had gone against a long-standing policy that the federal government should not investigate claims of voter fraud until after the election results are in and certified.

On Monday, Hopkins, 32, recanted his claim in an affidavit after speaking with investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, according to the Post. In response to the revelation, Democrats serving on the House Oversight Committee tweeted the “whistleblower completely RECANTED.”

Despite Hopkins’s decision to recant his claim of ballot tampering, it’s not yet clear why he signed a false affidavit claiming it happened in the first place. However, a GoFundMe page set up for Hopkins raised more than $136,000. Donors and Trump supporters hailed him as a patriot.

“Your donations are going to help me in the case I am wrongfully terminated from my job or I am forced into resigning due to ostrizization [sic] by my co-workers,” the page said. “It will help me get a new start in a place I feel safe and help me with child support until I am able to get settled and get a job.”

When the allegations were first made, Rob Weisenbach, the Erie postmaster, called Hopkins’s allegations “100% false.” He also said that Hopkins had been recently disciplined multiple times. “The Erie Post Office did not back date any ballots,” Weisenbach insisted.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!