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California Republican Party says it will not comply with state's cease and desist order on ballot drop boxes

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The California Republican Party said Wednesday it will not comply with the state's cease-and-desist order over unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least four counties, escalating a brewing political showdown ahead of the November election.

(CNN)The California Republican Party said Wednesday it will not comply with the state's cease-and-desist order over unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least four counties, escalating a brewing political showdown ahead of the November election.

The unauthorized ballot boxes, which state officials have called illegal, have been found in at least four counties across the state: Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and Fresno.

"Ballot harvesting program will continue," California Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas said in a statement to CNN.

The fight over the unofficial drop boxes comes as the coronavirus pandemic has led to historic interest in mail-in voting, even as President Donald Trump and the GOP have spent months attacking the integrity of mail ballots and fighting in court against drop boxes.

In the letter, attorneys for the state GOP say all of the ballot boxes deployed by the party are indoors, staffed by volunteers or party officials, secure and not labeled "official. "

While images of the ballot boxes have shown the boxes labeled as "official," the state GOP said it did not authorize the use of that term and had it removed.

"The California Republican Party did not promote, or authorize the promotion of, the secure boxes as 'official mail drop boxes,'" the letter states.

A spokesperson for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, told CNN his office "is in the process of reviewing the CA Republican Party's response letter. "

Barajas said Wednesday in an interview with CNN affiliate KABC that "a lot" of ballot boxes have been distributed statewide and the party may expand the program because "it's going well. "

Fight hard Republicans!" Trump tweeted Tuesday night, inaccurately describing state laws, which allow any party to collect ballots as long as it is done in person.

CNN election law analyst Rick Hasen said the unauthorized drop boxes were "not secure" and that the GOP was "asking for trouble. "

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