HomePoliticsFake ballot boxes spread across Southern California

Fake ballot boxes spread across Southern California

A rash of fake election boxes have appeared in the past few days in Southern California, VICE reports. The ballot boxes have allegedly been placed by members of the California Republican party. 

The boxes have popped up in gyms, gun stores and even churches amidst the Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties. According to VICE, Republicans who have been promoting the boxes could face criminal charges. 

“Republicans have been saying, ‘You can’t trust the system, there is fraud,’” Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor said, according to The Guardian. “Then, they engage in arguably fraudulent behavior and create the problems they are complaining about.” 

“It creates a psychological question and undermines the integrity of the election at a moment when it’s so important for voters to be able to trust the elections,” Levinson continued, stating that voters already have concerns about voting in-person due to COVID-19 and voting by mail due to delays. 

GOP members have made various social media posts regarding the boxes: one GOP regional field director, Jordan Tygh, posted a photo of himself standing in front of one of the false boxes. 

“DM me for convenient locations to drop your ballot off at!” Tygh notes in his tweet. 

Fresno County GOP Chairman Fred Vanderhoof likened the ballot boxes to ballot harvesting, ABC 7 reports. Ballot harvesting is used in cases where voters ‘lack transportation, are elderly or disabled or are in the hospital, and the third party must sign the ballot as a witness.’ 

“Because ballot harvesting is legal, we wanted to be open about it,” Vanderhoof said, according to ABC 7. “We let people know on Facebook and social media that they could drop their ballot at a secure ballot box and we’ll take it down for them.”

At the top of the chain, the California Republican Party defended the boxes, noting that ‘Democrat anger is overblown,’ ABC 7 reports. 

“In California, where you can have convicted felons and individuals with a criminal history go door to door and collect ballots from voters, Democrats are now upset because organizations, individuals and groups are offering an opportunity for their friends, family, and patrons to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust,” the party’s statement reads. 

According to The Guardian, California authorities have launched a criminal investigation and urged that any ballots placed in the false boxes will need to go to official polling places and drop-off locations. 

“My office is coordinating with local officials to address the multiple reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes,” Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State said, according to Vice. 

“Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” Padilla said. 

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