Ballot boxes marked as “official” are showing up around SoCal, and they are illegal.
A number of ballot boxes have been spotted outside churches, gun shops and Republican offices around SoCal and the boxes have been illegally marked as “official” of “secure.” While third-party submission is legal, placing unauthorized boxes and marking them incorrectly, is a violation of the law. Registered voters can find their nearest official ballot box here: https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/.
There have been recent reports of groups promoting unofficial ballot drop boxes that are not affiliated with Orange County, CA Elections. Voters who want to return their ballot at a drop box should only use official drop boxes. View the press release at https://t.co/rZGjhYKii0 pic.twitter.com/0f1MJrx3Hm
— OC Registrar (@OCRegistrar) October 12, 2020
A box was initially seen outside of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church in north L.A. County with “Official Ballot Drop Box” taped to it, as reported by CBS Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office confirmed this particular box was not in fact an official box in spite of its misleading and illegal labeling.
Later the Orange County Register found a number of ballot boxes that were listed as “secure” by the Fresno County Republic Party were in fact unauthorized. Many of them were found outside of gunshops and the party’s own offices. Many of the boxes were green or grey colour with printed signs taped to the front and changed to a location.
Today @AlexPadilla4CA and I sent a cease and desist order to the California Republican Party to stop operating unofficial ballot drop boxes.
We will do all that’s necessary under law to defend a free and fair election and protect YOUR right to vote. pic.twitter.com/LLlgJSuRB6
— Xavier Becerra (@XavierBecerra) October 13, 2020
On Monday, State Attorney General Xavier Becerra and CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued a cease-and-desist to the California Republican Party which orders them the California Republican Party to stop placing unsanctioned drop boxes around the state.
With a number of boxes being reported in O.C. County, the OC Registrar took to Twitter to remind voters to only use official drop boxes. The County officials also added in a press release, that while you may have someone deliver the ballot on your behalf, both you and the other person will need to sign at the back of the return envelope. These will need to be given to election officials within 72 hours. Voters are reminded that ballots should be completed and sealed before this is done.
Ballot Return options in Orange County can be found here. and L.A. County residents can find their nearest official boxes here.
[Featured Image: Tiffany Tertipes via Unsplash]