Elections in California said Republican members had placed “unauthorized” ballot boxes in churches, local party offices and candidate headquarters across the state.
Republican officials did not say how many boxes were placed by the party, how many ballots were collected, or what they did with the ballots.
On Monday, the state prosecutor sent letters terminating and terminating GP officials in Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange counties. The California secretary of state also issued a letter Sunday saying the Republicans’ boxes were illegal.
“The provision of unauthorized, unofficial ballot boxes by mail is prohibited by state law,”
In a statement, the California Republican Party acknowledged that the party owned the boxes, but attacked Democrats, saying it was their party that allowed the “collection of ballots” into law.
“In California, where you can condemn criminals and criminals with a history of going door-to-door and collecting ballots from voters, Democrats are now upset because organizations, individuals and groups are offering their friends, family and patrons the opportunity to drop out. vote with someone they know and trust, “Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the Republican Party in the state, said in a statement.” California Republicans would be happy to abolish the collection of ballots. “
In Santa Clarita on Sunday, Pastor Jerry Cook of the Path of Freedom Baptist Church took time out of his sermon to talk about one of the boxes in front of the building.
“They suggest that something wicked is happening to the ballots here, that maybe the pastor of the church is counting the ballots and looking at them and saying, ‘Oh, this is Biden’s voter; we will throw it out, “and then we will continue with Trump’s votes,” Cook told his meeting. “That’s not the case. Not only are we a safe and secure place, but we are also an honest place. “
He also assured the worshipers that “everything was up and up.”
The Orange County Registry first announced the existence of the boxes after California Republican Party Regional Director Jordan Taig posted a photo of the bulletin in front of one of them.
However, in the State Attorney’s note, the officials noted that the unauthorized boxes did not meet the state’s requirements for collecting ballots, which obliges the person to whom the ballot was given to sign the return envelope.
One of the boxes was placed in the Svensk Butik gift shop in Kingsburg, where the owner told BuzzFeed News that Fresno County Republican Chairman Fred Vanderhoff had stopped taking the box on Monday.
The box was installed about a week ago, added Juni Olson Hess.
“They think it’s a safe place,” she said.
She also said she trusted Vanderhuff, whom she knew personally, and that the ballots placed in the box, including hers, would be counted.
“He wears it at the election center or whatever it’s called,” she said.
Barajas did not answer questions about how many boxes were placed across the country, how many ballots were collected and whether they were delivered to be counted in the upcoming elections.
News of Republican ballot boxes came as President Donald Trump continued to sow distrust in the election process as states relied on mail ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to his congregation, Cook tried to reassure fans that their ballots would be safe.
“I’m not really worried about who you’re going to vote for,” he said. “You just have to vote correctly, and biblically, and you have to vote American and biblical values.”