Local election officials keeping an eye out for unofficial ballot drop boxes; cease and desist orders issued

California Connection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra have issued cease and desist orders to the state Republican Party over unauthorized ballot collection boxes seen in Southern California.

“I think one of the questions or concerns that comes with unauthorized, unofficial drop boxes is ensuring all the ballots make it from that box to the county,” Padilla said. “That’s why the protocols and requirements are in place for official, authorized drop boxes.”

As of Monday, Sacramento County has not received any reports of these unauthorized ballot boxes in the area, but election officials said they’re keeping their eyes open.

Election officials emphasized that anyone going to drop off their ballot should check on the county website first to ensure it’s an official location, especially since they have no control over what happens to ballots put in unauthorized boxes.

“The concern is that it just wouldn’t make it back to the county elections department if we don’t know that the unauthorized location is out there. We have our safeguards in place and we want to make sure that the voter knows that when they’re using one of our authorized boxes, they can trust that their ballot comes back to us,” Sacramento County Assistant Registrar of Voters Hang Nguyen told FOX40.

A spokesperson for the California Republican Party admits that the party did buy its own drop boxes.

He would not confirm how many of their boxes were in rotation and denied FOX40’s request for an on-camera interview. Instead, he sent a statement that said in part:

“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 to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust. The Democrat anger is overblown when state law allows organizations, volunteers or campaign workers to collect completed ballots and drop them off at polling places or election offices.”

Hector Barajas, spokesman, California Republican Party

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