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Monday, October 12, 2020

California officials say GOP illegally installed ballot drop-off boxes

The GOP wants people to vote by any means necessary

The GOP is willing to do almost anything to ensure people vote.

The party has been placing metal boxes around California with signs saying “official ballot drop-off box” in order to encourage voters to put their ballots in early.

The only problem is that the boxes are illegal, says The Washington Post.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla told The Washington Post in an email, “Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law, my office is coordinating with local officials to address the multiple reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes. Californians should only use official ballot drop boxes that have been deployed and secured by their county elections office.”

Read More: California governor signs first-ever law requiring diversity on corporate boards

There are official ballot drop off locations listed on the  secretary of state’s website, but promoting unofficial drop off locations could be a felony and land anyone who does two to four years in prison.

More Voters Use Mail-In Ballots Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The GOP claims it was using a practice called ballot harvesting. In 2016, a law was passed in certain states and says campaign volunteers can go door to door collecting ballots and submit them on behalf of voters.

The law is ideal for voters with disabilities or who may have difficulty getting to the polls.

It is legal for volunteers to collect votes in California, but the GOP’s ballot boxes weren’t being manned by people. The 2016 law says the ballot must be left with a designated  “person,” not at a random box in front of a gun range or church.

Read More: California to develop plan for reparations for Black Americans

Padilla offered this advice for Californians when it comes to submitting your vote and ensuring it counts:

“Voters are in control of how to return their ballot, and they have multiple safe and secure options for doing so, ballots can be returned by mail, to any in-person voting location, or to an official secure drop box. Never hand your ballot over to someone you don’t trust.”

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The post California officials say GOP illegally installed ballot drop-off boxes appeared first on TheGrio.

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