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'It's extremely problematic': Republicans inject new chaos into 2020 election with unauthorized ballot dropboxes in California

October 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The latest election controversy cropped up this week in California, where Republicans installed dozens of unauthorized ballot dropboxes that state officials say are illegal.

Washington (CNN)The latest election controversy cropped up this week in California, where Republicans installed dozens of unauthorized ballot dropboxes that state officials say are illegal.

The dropbox debacle, triggered by California Republicans who appeared to violate state laws, immediately injected new chaos into the frenzied and unprecedented 2020 election process.

The California Republican Party installed dozens of unauthorized ballot dropboxes in at least four Southern California counties, where there are competitive House races this year.

Republicans claimed they merely wanted to use their makeshift dropboxes to collect people's ballots and return them to election officials.

Padilla's office says state law only permits election officials -- not political parties -- to establish dropboxes for voters to return their ballots.

The memo also said Republicans violated laws on ballot collection, which is pejoratively called "ballot harvesting. " California lets voters designate any "person" to return their ballot on their behalf, often a family member of a volunteer from a political campaign.

And in an earlier tweet, Trump encouraged Republicans in two other reliably Democratic states to try similar tactics, saying, "New York and Illinois -- go for it!" While Trump seemed eager about the possibility of filing lawsuits about the dropbox situation in California, the Trump campaign and Republicans haven't been successful at stopping mail-in voting in the courts this cycle.

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