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California authorities send cease and desist to state GOP over unofficial ballot drop boxes

October 12, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The California Secretary of State and Department of Justice have sent a cease and desist order to the California Republican Party to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least three counties, officials announced in a news conference on Monday.

Washington (CNN)The California Secretary of State and Department of Justice have sent a cease and desist order to the California Republican Party to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least three counties, officials announced in a news conference on Monday.

"These unauthorized drop boxes are a disservice to state and local election administrators who have spent months working on the placement and deployment of official ballot drop boxes," California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said.

Images of the unofficial boxes showed that some had been labeled as "official," Padilla explained, adding that his office received reports of the unofficial boxes being deployed by the state Republican Party in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

California state law does not allow for the use of unauthorized vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, however, said Monday that his office received "disturbing reports" that some Republican Party officials are not willing to remove the "unofficial" boxes.

California Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas told CNN in a statement earlier Monday that the unofficial boxes amounted to an opportunity for "friends, family, and patrons to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust. "

"The Democrat anger is overblown when state law allows organizations, volunteers or campaign workers to collect completed ballots and drop them off at polling places or election offices," Barajas claimed.

The instillation of unofficial ballot drop boxes comes as President Donald Trump continues to lean into a conspiratorial message around the US voting process and mail-in voting in particular ahead of the November election.

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