(thepostmillennial)Nearly three dozen ballots were destroyed after a Boston man set a ballot box alight.
Worldly Armand, 39, was arrested Sunday evening for allegedly lighting the fire. According to police, he was taken into custody after being identified as the man who set the fire early that morning. Armand already had a standing warrant against him for “receiving stolen property.”
Of the 122 ballots inside the ballot box, 87 of them were still legible after the fire was put out. The other 35 had to be discarded, and officials have sent new ballots to voters who lost theirs in the fire CBS News reports.
Police put out the fire by pouring water into the ballot box. The box did not sustain damages and will continue to be used this election.
A joint statement by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and the Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin described the crime as “a disgrace to democracy” and encouraged voters not to be intimidated. “Any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement continued.
Galvin also demanded more security around polling stations. Taking to the radio, Galvin stated that “the integrity of the electoral process we cannot possibly sacrifice.”
A similar incident was reported in California earlier this week with a ballot box being targeted in what is suspected to be an arson attack. No suspect has been arrested or identified in the case.
Following the two instances of arson at ballot boxes in a single week, the FBI has opened an investigation into the matter. In regard to the incident in Boston, the FBI said that they would make it a priority to “help maintain the integrity of the election process in Massachusetts by aggressively enforcing federal election laws.”
The FBI asks that the public “remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious, election-related activity to us.”