Man Charged with Ballot Burning in Boston

Man charged with Baltimore burning ballot boxes

The Boston Public Library, where the ballot burning took place. Credits:

Katherine Conner, Staff Writer/Editor

On Sunday, October 25, A man was charged with setting Boston ballot drop boxes on fire and damaging dozens of ballots. 

According to the Washington Post, Worldly Armand, a 39-year-old Boston resident, was taken into custody by police late Sunday, hours after he started a fire inside of a ballot drop box outside the Boston Public Library in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood that contained more than 120 ballots, authorities said. Massachusetts’ election officials have said they have directed local officials to boost security at drop boxes, with guards and video surveillance, and to empty the boxes frequently. Armand was arrested after drug control unit officers on patrol saw a man who matched the description of the suspect. 

According to the Boston Globe, this is the second fire reported at a ballot box in the U.S. this month. A fire inside of an official Los Angeles County ballot drop box is also being investigated as arson. An FBI Boston spokesperson declined to comment on whether authorities believe the two fires are Officers who were called to the scene in Boston saw smoke coming out of the box before firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by filling the box with water, police said. There were 122 ballots inside of the box when it was emptied Sunday morning, and 87 of them were still legible and able to be processed, election officials said. 

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said in an interview on Monday that “most of the 35 damaged ballots were mainly intact and they should be readable. Five to ten of them are too damaged to be counted.”

According to election officials, voters whose ballots were affected can either vote in person or by a replacement ballot that will be mailed to them. If those voters don’t submit a new ballot, “their original ballot will be hand-counted to the extent possible,” election officials said.