After Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla sent a cease and desist letter to the California GOP to stop the operation of unofficial ballot boxes, the group has yet to back down.
California Republicans had set up these unauthorized drop boxes across Los Angeles, Orange and Fresno Counties.
The letter asked to contact the Secretary of State office to arrange a time to provide county election officials with the information of voters who dropped their ballots at their boxes. The aim is for the County Registrars of Voters to contact these voters to advise them of their options to verify the return status of their ballot.
“Democrats are now upset because organizations, individuals and groups are offering an opportunity for their friends, family and patrons to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust,” California Republican Party Spokesman Hector Barajas said in a statement.
“In California, where you can have convicted felons and individuals with a criminal history go door to door and collect ballots from voters, Democrats are now upset because organizations, individuals and groups are offering an opportunity for their friends, family, and patrons… pic.twitter.com/Ljx3WOldmd
— CAGOP (@CAGOP) October 12, 2020
In a joint statement, Padilla and Becerra explained the problem with unofficial ballot drop boxes. In addition to misleading voters, official drop boxes are “secure receptacles” and must adhere to state-regulated security measures. They also noted that anyone returning a ballot on behalf of someone else must provide their name, signature and relation to the voter on the return envelope.
“Political parties and campaigns can engage in get-out-the-vote efforts, but they cannot violate state law,” Padilla said. “The unofficial, unauthorized drop boxes in question violate state law and jeopardize the security of voters’ ballots.”
In light of the situation, Padilla’s office sent letters to other political parties to remind them about ballot drop box rules.
“State and local elections officials have worked tirelessly to provide voters multiple safe, secure options to return their vote-by-mail ballots,” Padilla said. “These unauthorized drop boxes are a disservice to elections administrators and a disservice to voters who deserve to cast their ballots with clarity and confidence.”
To confirm you drop your ballot at an authorized drop-box, check here.
As of Tuesday morning, nearly 11.5 million votes have been cast across the country. In California, that total is approaching 600,000.