“Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes – especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes – is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” Padilla said, with a felony conviction carrying a prison sentence of two to four years.OC Register:
The California Secretary of State has received reports in recent days about possible unauthorized ballot drop boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange counties, agency spokesman Sam Mahood said Sunday evening. Reports place such boxes at local political party offices, candidate headquarters and churches.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said his office is coordinating with local elections officials to look into the reports.
Only county elections officials can oversee ballot drop boxes, choosing the number, location, hours of operation and other details. County registrars are charged with making sure every box follows strict state guidelines for security, including making sure they can’t be tampered with and tracing the chain of custody of all ballots.
The GOP has not confirmed whether they are behind randomly installing unauthorized ballot drop boxes but did tweet out their support of the practice.
To put a few matters in context, Orange County has always been very red until 2018 when a Blue Wave hit hard and turned the county blue. Republicans like to rail on about what they call ‘ballot harvesting’ but do not understand California allows a designated person to submit another person’s ballot on his or her behalf.
On the return envelope, the person designating another person to turn in his/her ballot must put the designee’s name, relationship to the designator, and sign the envelope authorizing this practice. My own family makes me the the designee because I’m home and they leave our house or theirs to work.
Because this practice makes voting easier for others, Republicans would like to eliminate it. In April, the GOP sued Governor Newsom over this practice but has since dropped their suit .