California Republican leaders refuse to remove unauthorized ballot boxes

California Republican leaders refuse to remove unauthorized ballot boxes

Republican leaders in California have no plans to remove unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes placed by the party in at least three counties — despite a cease-and-desist order from the state’s chief elections official.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla, along with Attorney General Xavier Becerra — both Democrats — set a Thursday deadline earlier this week for Republicans to remove the boxes, which have recently popped up at local candidate headquarters, political party offices, churches and other locations in Los Angeles, Orange and Fresno counties.

Padilla warned state GOP officials could face both civil and criminal charges that can carry felony penalties of up to four years in prison if they did not comply.

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Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, have expressed concerns that voters will confuse the Republican boxes with official ballot drop boxes that are monitored by county election officials.

But Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney and member of the Republican National Committee, called the cease-and-desist letter “a voter suppression

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