California AG seeks court order over unauthorized ballot boxes

California AG seeks court order over unauthorized ballot boxes

Oct. 21 (UPI) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has asked a Sacramento court to force the state’s Republican Party to hand over information concerning its use of unofficial ballot collection boxes.

The Democratic attorney general filed the petition Tuesday requesting the court order the California Republican Party to comply with its previous legal filings demanding it inform the state of the number and locations of unauthorized drop boxes it deployed as well as details of who used them.

In the filing, Becerra said the information is needed to ensure that all ballots placed into those unofficial collection boxes are counted and to aid their election law compliance investigation.

Instead of responding to their inquiries, the California Republican Party has “filed a litany of objections, none of which excuse their non-compliance,” Becerra wrote in the petition.

“Because the election date is quickly approaching, it is critical that the State ensure that any ballot that was deposited into a dop box is able to be confirmed as having reached a county elections official for counting,” the petition states.

Hector Barajas, spokesman for the California Republican Party, rejected the petition as “an abuse of power,” stating they objected to Becerra’s subpoenas on several grounds, including the right to privacy.

“We will stand up to this type of authoritarian bullying tactics,” he said in a statement. “The California Republican Party will not provide the Secretary of State or Attorney General a list of Californians who attend religious services, frequent firearms retailers, participate in political events or engage in any other lawful activity.”

Early last week, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Becerra sent the California GOP a cease and desist letter after learning over the weekend it had deployed numerous unauthorized ballot drop boxes, some of which were advertised as being official.

Padilla and Becerra said the boxes were illegal as state law says only county officials have the authority to designate the location, hours of operation and number of drop boxes.

On Friday, the pair announced at a press conference that the California Republican Party had agreed to concessions on how they collect ballots. They added in a statement that they will be continuing their investigation and are issuing subpoenas to obtain additional information.

“Despite their client’s rhetoric in the press, we’ve been in communication with legal counsel for the California Republican Party and they have committed to a number of significant concessions,” Padilla said in the statement.

Barajas responded that they made no concessions.

“This is a thuggish voter intimidation and vote suppression tactic,” Barajas said in a statement.

In a statement Tuesday, Becerra said they are continuing their investigation, calling on Californians to report if they see any unauthorized election activities.

“If you see something, say something,” he said. “It’s going to take all of us working together to stand up for our right to vote and ensure a free and fair election.”


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