California officials issued a cease-and-desist order to the California Republican Party on Monday after Republican officials admitted placing unofficial ballot drop boxes that were deemed illegal by state election authorities.
- “State election officials said they had received reports about the boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Orange counties. Officials in Ventura County also said they had received reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes," USA Today reported.
- Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Monday that “Misleading voters is wrong regardless of who’s doing it." Candidates and political parties can participate in efforts to get out the vote, he explained, but they “can’t violate state law.”
- GOP officials claim the drop boxes are legal under California’s law governing ballot-harvesting, which allows people to turn in ballots for other voters under certain rules.
- Those rules require the person turning in the ballot to sign the envelope.
- The state also has strict requirements for the design, use, and security of ballot drop boxes, which reports indicate were not met by at least some of the GOP’s unofficial boxes.
The cease and desist order gave the GOP until Thursday to remove all boxes. Padilla said that legal options would be reviewed if it does not comply, Padilla said.
- Padilla also said it is too early to say how many unofficial drop boxes exist.