© Lacey Gregory/KANSAN/KJN
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Friday that it will not be pressing charges against a former temporary elections worker in Pennsylvania who threw out nine military ballots in the Keystone State before November's presidential election.

While Republicans had seized on the case in Luzerne County as an example of what they said was widespread voter fraud that cost President Trump a second term, prosecutors said they found insufficient evidence to determine any criminal intent contributed to the worker discarding the ballots.

"After a thorough investigation conducted by the FBI and prosecutors from my office, we have determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove criminal intent on the part of the person who discarded the ballots," said Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce Brandler. "Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed and the matter is closed."

The DOJ's investigation was sparked following a request by the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office after it learned the ballots were discarded.

The unidentified worker has been fired, and their mistake was chalked up as a "bad error" without malintent by Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D).

Trump won Luzerne County by more than 22,000 votes. It was ultimately found that seven of the nine discarded ballots had been cast for the president.

Pennsylvania was a top swing state in November's presidential race. Trump's campaign and Republican allies launched a series of lawsuits to overturn the results after President-elect Joe Biden won there, though virtually all of them were tossed out for lack of standing or evidence.