California Republicans are allegedly setting up fake 'official' drop-off boxes to harvest ballots

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office has received complaints about seemingly unauthorized ballot boxes in Los Angels, Orange, and Fresno counties, and social media posts indicate that California Republicans set them up to collect ballots, The Orange County Register reported Sunday night. The metal boxes, supposedly "official", have been reported to local political party offices, churches and the headquarters for GOP candidates.
"The operation of unofficial ballot boxes - especially those that are misrepresented as official ballot boxes - is not only misleading for voters, but also constitutes a violation of national law," said Padilla, and a criminal offense would last two to four years end up in jail. County electoral officers and registrars are only authorized to set up and maintain Dropboxes in accordance with the state's strict security regulations.
The California Republican Party did not respond to the registry's requests for comment or to individual GOP activists engaged on social media. But the state's GOP has "defended the practice in responses to Twitter, claiming the process was legalized under a 2016 law that allows California voters to designate someone to return their ballot for them," the report said Register. "The GOP calls the practice 'ballot harvesting' and blames it for losses of the Democrats in OK and elsewhere in 2018." State officials say unauthorized Dropboxing would break this law as there is no specific person who could sign the ballot as needed.
Joseph Stern, writer of the slate justice, sees something more disgraceful than just trying to make it more convenient for Republicans to choose. "The California Republicans are allegedly creating fake drop boxes and getting voters to put their ballots in them," he tweeted. "Apparently they are trying to prove electoral fraud is real by actually committing election fraud."
Republicans in Texas, Ohio, and other states are currently battling to keep ballot boxes to one per county. The Republicans in Southern California are trying to reclaim a list of the Congressional seats they lost in mid-2018. And if they use fake official Dropboxes they are breaking the law, Orange County voter registrar Neal Kelley said on Sunday. "It would be like installing a mailbox on the corner - the post office is the one that installs mailboxes." Read more on the Orange County Register.
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