LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office on Tuesday filed a petition to address unofficial ballot collection boxes that were seen throughout the state.
Becerra filed the petition in Sacramento Superior Court, said his office wants to get more details about the use of the unauthorized ballot boxes in an effort to “protect the integrity of our elections.”
Last week, Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued cease-and-desist orders regarding the use of the unauthorized ballot boxes.
Also just a week ago, state GOP spokesman Hector Barajas acknowledged owning unofficial ballot drop boxes that state election officials said are illegal.
Barajas previously claimed that the state’s law governing “ballot harvesting” allows an organization to collect and return groups of ballots.
While Becerra and Padilla said Republican Party officials agreed to stop using the boxes, GOP leaders said they did not agree to that and intend to keep using them.
The issue that prosecutors have expressed with those ballot collection boxes is that were incorrectly marked as “official” — a point that GOP leaders conceded to — but Republicans in California are still continuing to push back against accusations of unauthorized activity for having those boxes present even without an “official” marking.
‘This is an abuse of power,” said Barajas, responding to backlash over the ballot collection boxes. “The California Republican Party responded and objected to the Attorney General’s subpoenas on numerous grounds, including the right to privacy. We will stand up to this type of authoritarian bullying tactics. The California Republican Party will not provide the Secretary of State or the Attorney General a list of Californians who attend religious services, frequent firearms retailers, participate in political events, or engage in any other lawful activity.”
Becerra and Padilla said the legality of having those boxes available for ballot collection requires that someone is posted with the boxes and the conveyors of the ballots must sign the ballot envelope agreeing to take custody of the votes.