Update: Suspect charged.
Boston Police have released photos of a guy they say set fire to the ballot drop box outside the Copley Square library around 4:10 a.m.
On arrival, officers observed Boston Fire on scene tending to smoke coming from an early voting ballot box. The ballot box appeared to be on fire, but the firefighters were unable to determine if the fire was burning inside of the box. Eventually, crews were able to extinguish the fire by filling the ballot box with water.
WHDH reports the Secretary of State's office has asked federal officials to investigate.
The city elections department last emptied the box of ballots around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. If you used the box after then to deposit your ballot, you might want to contact the Boston Election Department.
In a statement, the city says:
While this remains an active investigation, an immediate review of the contents of the Copley Square ballot dropbox held about 122 ballots, and 87 of them were legible and able to be processed. Before the incident, which occurred around 4 a.m., City officials had last collected the ballots at this dropbox at 2:29 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Mayor Walsh and Secretary of State William Galvin said:
What happened in the early hours of this morning to the ballot dropbox in Copley Square is a disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic duty, and a crime.
Our first and foremost priority is maintaining the integrity of our elections process and ensuring transparency and trust with our voters, and any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We ask voters not to be intimidated by this bad act, and remain committed to making their voices heard in this and every election.
US Attorney Andrew Lelling said federal investigators have joined the hunt for the suspect.