UPDATE (AP) - California's chief elections officer has ordered Republicans to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes set up in at least four counties.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Monday the boxes are illegal. But Republicans refused to remove them.
They said they were just taking advantage of California's liberal ballot collection law that allows anyone to collect ballots from voters and deliver them to county election offices. Padilla's office sent Republicans a cease and desist letter ordering them to remove the drop boxes by Thursday.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra threatened to prosecute anyone trying to improperly solicit ballots. The boxes have been reported in Los Angeles, Orange, Fresno and Ventura counties.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California’s Republican Party has acknowledged owning unofficial ballot drop boxes that state election officials say are illegal.
California election officials received reports about the boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties.
On Sunday, the secretary of state issued a memo telling county registrars the boxes are illegal and that ballots must be mailed or brought to official voting locations.
State GOP spokesman Hector Barajas said Monday that the party owns the boxes and that he believes the state’s law governing so-called ballot harvesting allows an organization to collect and return groups of ballots.
Democrats have blasted the use of the unofficial boxes and say they fear Republicans could use them to gather and dispose of ballots.