Officials are warning voters of illegal ballot boxes set out in multiple counties around California.
“Those official ballot drop boxes go through a number of steps that are required in the law and regulations for installation, security, for placement,” said Neal Kelley of the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
The California Republican Party received a cease and desist letter Tuesday from Xavier Becerra, the state attorney general, after allegedly placing ballot collection boxes in Los Angeles, Orange and Fresno counties.
The boxes have been popping up at polling locations like libraries and churches.
“It certainly was both distributed and promoted as a non-partisan ballot collection box,” said Joe Keller, executive pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Los Angeles. “It was our understanding that those were going directly to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office and it was an opportunity to serve our community.”
Keller added when he realized the boxes were unauthorized he decided to take them away.
“As soon as there was any sort of confusion or concern, we called them to remove the box,” he said.
A California Republican Party spokesperson said they are taking advantage of the state’s liberal ballot collection law that allows anyone to collect ballots from voters and deliver them to county election offices.
“Having these unofficial ballot drop boxes that anybody can go to unmanned and not meeting all those requirements is just not appropriate,” added Kelley.