California GOP installed unofficial ballot drop boxes at churches, gas stations and gun stores. Is that legal?

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California voters can send off their ballots by using ballot drop boxes. But dozens of unofficial boxes have popped up statewide, including in Orange and LA counties. Photo by Amy Ta/KCRW

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to the California Republican Party to stop operating unofficial ballot drop boxes. Dozens have popped up across the state, including in Orange and LA counties. To the untrained eye, they don’t look all that different from the official ballot drop boxes the state is using.

The state Republican party has defended the practice, saying California allows ballot harvesting. Spokesman Hector Barajas spoke to KQED’s California Report: “We will respond to the cease-and-desist letter, but we will continue our ballot harvesting program. If the secretary of state would like to provide us what section code, or what election code has been violated, we’d love to see it. And we will continue to do our ballot harvesting. And if they’ve got a problem with it, we’ll see them in court.”

Credits

Guest:
Rick Hasen - professor of Law at UC Irvine, author of “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy” - @rickhasen

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin