California officials on Monday sent a cease and desist order to the state’s Republican leaders demanding the removal of unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes placed by the party in at least three counties, allegedly in violation of local election law.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Republicans have until Thursday 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, the Orange County Register reported.
Otherwise, state GOP officials could face both civil and criminal charges that can carry felony penalties of up to four years in prison, Padilla said.
Reports about the unauthorized boxes began pouring into the Secretary of State’s office over the weekend. Images showed that some of them have been labeled as “official,” despite that not being the case.
“The problem here is with voters unknowingly delivering their ballots to an unofficial drop box mislabeled and misrepresented as an