Officials said the California secretary of state has received several reports in recent days about possible illegal ballot boxes in three counties.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office said it was coordinating with local officials to investigate reports of unauthorized boxes in Orange, Los Angeles and Fresno counties, according to the Orange County Register.
“Working with unofficial ballot boxes – especially those that are misrepresented as official boxes – “It’s not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” Padilla said in a statement.
The boxes were reportedly spotted in places such as churches and offices of local political parties, the registry noted. Exhaust ballots are under the jurisdiction of district election officials, according to the newspaper, which adds that the sentence for a crime of operating unauthorized boxes can be up to four years.
The Fresno County Republican Party also posted on its website a list of “secure” newsletter collection sites, none of which is the official location of the county coffers, according to the county’s official website.
Republican officials in California defended the boxes, saying a 2016 law that allows the so-called Collecting ballots allows them. Government officials said the boxes were not a harvest, allowing voters to nominate someone to cast ballots on their behalf. However, ballot boxes do not include a specific power of attorney to sign ballots, according to government officials.
“What we did started to look at, we notified the state, and the secretary of state issued guidelines this afternoon that it was illegal and you can’t do it,” said Orange County Voter Register Neil Kelly. “It’s like installing a mailbox on the corner – mail is the one that installs mailboxes. “