The President of the United States on Wednesday encouraged the California Republican Party to continue with the placement of illegal ballot boxes. After being warned that people caught interfering with the election will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, Republicans in at least one county agreed to remove the boxes — but Trump appeared to disagree.
Fox 8 reported that the boxes have appeared in at least 3 counties: Fresno, Orange, and Los Angeles. The secretary of state released a memo, warning that “providing unauthorized, non-official vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes is prohibited by state law.” GOP officials in Fresno county said they’d remove the boxes and turn over the ballots to county election officials.
However, state GOP spokesman Hector Barajas spoke of the boxes as though they fell under ballot harvesting laws, complaining that Democrats only oppose ballot harvesting when they do it themselves. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists California as one of several states that allows ballots to be returned by someone other than the voter — but there are still limitations. The voter may designate another person to return their ballot — this doesn’t negate state laws regarding where a ballot must be returned.
Still, upon learning that California’s attorney general and chief elections officer had demanded the state’s GOP officials put a stop to the use of unofficial and illegal ballot boxes marked “official,” the president tweeted, claiming that “they” (presumably Democrats) “have been taking advantage of the system,” and calling for the GOP to “fight hard.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com