A woman places her ballot paper in the box during early voting Getty Images/Mark Ralston
The California Republican Party is operating unofficial ballot drop boxes that Secretary of State Alex Padilla said on Sunday were in “violation of state law.”
Jordan Tygh, a regional field director for the California Republican Party, promoted an “official ballot drop off box” on Twitter and urged followers to message him for “convenient locations” to drop their ballots last week, The Orange County Register first reported. One voter reported an “Official Ballot Drop Box” that was “approved and bought by the GOP” outside of a Los Angeles area church before it was removed after county officials warned on social media that it was “not an official vote by mail drop box and does not comply with [state] regulations for drop boxes,” according to KCAL.
This is @JordanTygh, a regional field director for the California GOP encouraging people to hit him up to find drop off locations for ballots. The problem? These drop boxes are fakes and that is illegal. pic.twitter.com/J9g4QUiPHD
— Tim Jennings (@TheTimJennings) October 12, 2020
The boxes were set up across Southern California in front of churches, gyms, and gun stores by the California GOP, according to The Washington Post. One chapter of the state Republican Party in California rolled out its own drop-off sites while echoing President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations over the “security” of mail voting even though it has been repeatedly shown to be safe and secure.
“CONSERVATIVE VOTER ALERT!,” the Fresno GOP said while announcing a list of unofficial locations to drop off ballots. “President Trump is very concerned about the lack of security with mail in ballots. Don’t take a chance that your vote will not be counted. Once your ballot arrives in the mail, mark your ballot completely and then walk it in, as soon as possible, to one of the secure locations listed below. Make sure your vote counts!”
Padilla, a Democrat, said on Sunday that it was illegal to operate unofficial ballot drop boxes.
“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,” he told the Post. “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.”
The OC Register reported that those operating the unofficial drop boxes could face felony charges that carry up to two to four years in prison.
Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley told the the outlet that he had received hundreds of complaints about the drop boxes.
“What we did was started to look into it, notified the state, and the Secretary of State issued guidance this afternoon that it is illegal and you can’t do that,” he said. “It would be like me installing a mailbox out on the