Republicans have been accused of setting up fake ‘official’ ballot drop-off boxes in California which state officials say are illegal
- Metal boxes signed ‘Official ballot drop off box’ have popped up in California
- Republican Party in Southern California have been urging people to use them
- California Secretary of State Alex Padilla ruled the boxes illegal on Sunday
Republicans have been accused of setting up fake ‘official’ ballot drop-off boxes in California which state officials say are illegal.
Metal boxes have been set up across southern California accompanied by signs which read, ‘Official ballot drop off box’.
The State’s GOP has been urging voters to use the boxes to post their mail-in ballots, at locations which include smog checks and gas stations.
On Twitter on Friday, Regional Field Director of the California Republican Party Jordan Tygh posed for a photograph in front of one of the boxes holding his ballot.
‘Doing my part and voting early,’ Jordan Tygh wrote in the now-deleted tweet. ‘DM me for convenient locations to drop your ballot off at!’
On Twitter Friday Regional Field Director of the California Republican Party Jordan Tygh posed for a photograph in front of one of the boxes holding his ballot
Despite the publicity surrounding the new container, they are not legally recognized county-authorized ballot drop-off sites and state officials Sunday classified them as illegal.
‘Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,’ California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, told The Washington Post in an emailed statement.
‘My office is coordinating with local officials to address the multiple reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes. Californians should only use official ballot drop boxes that have been deployed and secured by their county elections office.’
According to the secretary of state’s office, the construction or advertisement of the illegal ballot boxes could carry a sentence of up to four years in prison.
Official ballot box locations can be found on the secretary of state’s website. Republican leaders, however, have been asking supporters to hand over their votes at unlisted locations.
A newly installed Ballot Drop Box for the election in California is seen at the Will & Ariel Durant Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library on October 06, 2020 in Hollywood, California
The California GOP stood by its drop-off boxes on Twitter on Sunday.
‘If a congregation/business or other group provides the option to its parishioners/associates/ or colleagues to drop off their ballot in a safe location, with people they trust, rather than handing it over to a stranger who knocks on their door — what is wrong with that?’, the party tweeted.
The Republican Party are defending the ballot boxes by comparing it to ballot harvesting, in which some states allow for ballots to be handed over to an individual for it to be delivered.
‘This procedure has been in place since 2016 — not sure why people are all of a sudden surprised,’ the California GOP tweeted.
Padilla, a Democrat, said the new GOP boxes do not meet the requirements of the 2016 law which allowed for ballot harvesting.
The 2016 law, he said, required voters to hand over their ballot to a designated person, who would not be present at the unofficial drop boxes.