California Republican Party Admits It Placed Misleading Ballot Boxes Around State

The California Republican Party has admitted responsibility for placing more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” ballot boxes for mail-in ballots in Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange Counties — an action that state officials said was illegal and could lead to voter fraud, according to the New York Times.

The dark gray metal boxes have been popping up over the past two weeks near churches, gun shops and Republican Party offices, mostly in conservative areas of a deep-blue state, affixed with a white paper label identifying them as either an “Official Ballot Drop off Box” or a “Ballot Drop Box.”

On Monday, California’s secretary of state, Alex Padilla, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a cease-and-desist order to the state- and county-level Republican parties, ordering them to remove the boxes. They also urged voters who might have unknowingly dropped off their ballots in the receptacles to sign up with the state’s voter tracking website to ensure their vote is counted.

“Misleading voters is wrong regardless of who is doing it,” Mr. Padilla said in a conference call with reporters, adding that the boxes “are not permitted by state law.”

The illegal move brought a swift reaction from Riverside County Democrats.

Illegal GOP Ballot Boxes Anger RivCo Democrats

Dori Smith

“We can’t know what the California Republican Party operatives were thinking when they put out illegal drop boxes to collect ballots and called them ‘official.’ I truly hope it was not done with contempt for voters nor for the election itself,” Dori Smith, president, Democrats of the Desert, told Uken Report. “And anyone who is thinking about doing something similar, please know that it is illegal and you could be charged with a felony.

“We want voters in the Coachella Valley to know exactly where the official Riverside County drop-box locations are, so we are providing that information in numerous ways:  on Democrats of the Desert’s Website, through social media, and email. For voters who may not have Internet access, I’d like them to know that most of the drop-box locations are in area City Halls––Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Palm Springs. You may drop your ballot at any of these locations; whatever is convenient. There are NO Riverside County approved drop boxes in churches or stores.

“We want to assure voters that the election is secure. It’s safe and secure to vote by mail, and we encourage you to do that ASAP.  Make sure your ballot is signed, dated and postmarked before or by November 3. And, if you feel better about delivering your ballot yourself, be sure it’s you put it in an official, secure County drop-box.”

All official balloting drop off sites in Riverside County were fully investigated by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, in partnership with the California Secretary of State, and comply with all State and Federal Election requirements, according to Tisa Rodriguez, Riverside County Democratic Party. Complete lists of Official Voter Assistance Centers and Ballot Drop Off Locations are available at the links below.

Please remember that if you choose to have someone deliver your ballot to one of the legal voting locations below, that you should only hand your ballot to someone you trust, Rodriguez said in a prepared statement. You must complete the authorization panel on your ballot so that they can legally deliver your ballot for you, and please sign up to track your ballot by clicking here so that you can independently verify that your ballot is
counted as intended.

For Official Voter Assistance Center Locations, click here.

For Official Ballot Drop Off Locations, click here,

Image Sources

  • Dori Smith: Dori Smith
  • Election: Pixaby