Boston police say they have made an arrest in the alleged arson case involving a ballot drop box near Copley Square yesterday morning.
Authorities say 39-year-old Worldy Armand was taken into custody last night after he was found to match images and descriptions of the suspect.
35 Ballots Destroyed:
At approximately 4 am on Sunday morning, firefighters and police were called to Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, where smoke and fire were seen pouring out of a nearby ballot drop off box.
When the fire had been extinguished, election officials reportedly examined the box, finding roughly 122 completed ballots inside — 35 of them were deemed too illegible from damage to be processed.
Police later reviewed surveillance footage in the area and released still images of a man approaching the box with what appeared to be a flaming object in his hand. The suspect was later determined to be Armand.
Officials Try to Calm the Situation:
In a joint statement following the incident, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin urged voters to remain calm.
Though they referred to the incident as “a disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic duty, and a crime,” the officials also asked voters “not to be intimidated by the bad act, and remain committed to making their voices heard in this and every election.”
Boston election officials also attempted to quell any uncertainty by telling voters that ballot boxes are emptied daily, and are monitored on a 24-hour basis. They encouraged any voters who may have used the box near Copley Square between 2:30 pm Saturday and 4 am Sunday to check the status of their ballots.
Not the First Arson of This Kind:
The ballot box arson is reportedly the second attack of its kind to happen this month. A similar incident happened in Southern California last week, endangering as many as 100 ballots.