California Orders GOP: Get Rid of Unofficial Ballot Boxes

Or face prosecution, state's AG warns
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 13, 2020 2:20 AM CDT
California Orders GOP: Get Rid of Unofficial Ballot Boxes
In a photo from video, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joins in an announcement of cease-and-desist orders being issued to the Republican Party for placing unofficial ballot collection boxes in several counties, during a virtual news conference from Sacramento, Calif., Oct. 12, 2020.   (State of California via AP)

California's chief elections official on Monday ordered Republicans to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes from churches, gun shops, and other locations and Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned that those behind the “vote tampering" could face prosecution. Republicans refused, saying they are taking advantage of California's liberal ballot collection law that allows anyone to collect ballots from voters and deliver them to county election offices. “As of right now, we're going to continue our ballot harvesting program,” California Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas said.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said state law only allows county election officials to set up official ballot drop boxes, with rules for how often the ballots are retrieved. He said these unofficial drop boxes lack those protections, making them vulnerable to tampering. Padilla had his chief legal counsel send Republicans a letter on Monday ordering them to remove those boxes by Thursday. He also ordered them to provide the state with the names, addresses, and birthdays of all voters who have already dropped off ballots. Becerra, also a Democrat, went further, threatening to prosecute “anyone who knowingly engages in the tampering or misuse of a vote.”

(More Election 2020 stories.)

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