Trump urges California GOP to ‘fight’ with informal ballot box despite threat of prosecution

On October 5, 2020, a voter in Los Angeles, California places their ballot in a mail-in ballot drop-off box outside a library. | Mario Tum / Getty Images

Oakland – President Donald Trump on Twitter on Tuesday urged California’s Republican Party to “fight” over its move to collect ballots in informal “drop boxes” around the state in defense of legal threats from state officials .

The day after Trump’s remarks, California top officials sent a ceasefire notice to the state party, ordering them to remove the unofficial ballot drop box. The presence of the boxes led to Gov. Gavin accused Newsom of California’s Republicans of “willing to lie, cheat and threaten our democracy to gain power.”

Trump, In a Tuesday tweet, Wrote, “You mean only Democrats are allowed to do this? But Dame hasn’t been doing this for years. See you in court. Fight tough Republicans!”

Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, both Democrats, have warned Republicans that if they don’t remove their boxes by Thursday, they will face prosecution.

Trump’s support of the drop box has been defied by state GOP officials due to two major parties’ fights over election rules during an epidemic in California, where 21.2 million voters in the state already received their ballots by post Have done.

California residents began returning their mail ballots at a record pace last week at Republican-friendly locations such as churches and gun shops. Because California is relying too much on mail balloting this year, the state’s 58 counties have placed many more official drop boxes in many locations, from supermarkets to election offices.

Republicans said Monday that relying on the informal ballot box was no different from the “ballot harvesting” that Democrats held with great success during the 2018 midterm election. Under California law, third-party collection of ballots is legal until the voter formally authorizes another person to return their ballot for them. In the last election, democratic volunteers collected ballots from voters who indicated they wanted help submitting them.

Padilla and Becerra argued on Monday that the California GOP’s recent placement of unauthorized drop boxes in Frosno, Los Angeles, and Orange counties differs from Democratic “ballot harvesting” efforts because voters believe their ballot has an official-looking mechanism Will be distributed through – all their unsigned ballots.

He called on GOP campaign officials to stop using private containers marked as “official” drop boxes, saying official boxes are subject to state safety standards and can only be installed by county registrars.

But the California Republican Party said on Monday that it would continue to rely on the Bucks, starting a legal battle with state officials, according to Trump’s stance in his Tuesday tweet.

Assembly Republican Leader Mary Waldron also argued on Tuesday that the move was legal. “The issue of this ballot box is simple,” He tweeted. Republicans trying to expand voter reach; Trying to suppress votes. ”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California), appearing on Central Valley radio station KMJ on Tuesday, had a response to Newsom: “Fuck! You made the law, we’re going to vote, “he said” The Ray Appleton Show. ”

And Fresno County Republican Party officials on Tuesday defended the move to establish them.

“We’re not doing anything illegal,” Fresno County Republican Chair Fred Vanderhoof told local news site GVwire. “The entire ballot cutting laws have been deliberately designed so loosely that Democrats can cheat, which they are doing in large numbers. They can harvest ballots, but we cannot. This is what they are saying. Therefore they are hypocritical. ”

GVAVR reported that Vanderhof ticked the boxes at 12 different locations – including a local smog check business where a cardboard box was placed behind the front desk with a sign “authorized safe ballot drop.”

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